“Peaches” by Hattie Howard

Peaches, peaches! everywhere

   See the tempting baskets stand!

Luscious fruit from Delaware,
Ruddy cheeks from Maryland.

Orchards of the sunny South,
In surprising plentitude,
Furnish freely every mouth
Appetizing, dainty food.

Peaches in the market stalls,
Peaches vended on the street
By the rogue who seldom hauls
Peaches good enough to eat.

Dealers a bonanza reap
From the blushing favorites,
While their cry of “Peaches cheap!”
Gathers in the silver bits.

What delicious nectar pure
Velvet cuticles enclose!
Pampered taste of epicure
No more toothsome flavor knows.

There are peaches tough as vice —
Acrid as a sharp retort!
Dear were they at half their price —
And, besides, of measure short.

Who is wise would rather tramp
Weary miles than eat of these;
Colic, cholera, and cramp
Lurk beneath their indices.

What are peaches minus cream,
Just enough to smother in?
Till the juicy quarters seem
Buried isles of coralline.

Tender freestones, mellow clings,
Nectarines without a scar —
Every one a picture brings
Of redundant groves afar,

Where the languid natives lie
Under peach-trees day by day,
Visage looking to the sky —
Picking peaches?— No! not they!

Waiting for the fruit to drop
In each facial orifice!
Surely, plan for gathering crop
Never labor saved as this.

Peaches, peaches! everywhere
Trains are carrying thick and fast!
Luxuries that all may share
Ere “peach-season” shall have passed.

Hattie Howard

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