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C. Russell Christian (c.1861-1889) was a well known regional poet born in Logan County, WV. A son of B. and E. (White) Christian, he married Marian Trent, fathered at least one son (Carl), and died of typhoid fever at Kirbyville in Wyoming County, WV. He is buried in Oceana, WV.


One bright and balmy morn in May,

Ere the sun had kissed the dew,

Mick Hurley trudged the broad highway

In search of aught that he could do.

With heart so light and conscience free,

Each farmer he would ask:

“An’ have ye got a job for me,

No matter phwat the task.”

At last he met a farmer who

Did need a steady working man,

Who asked if he could farming do;

“Begorra,” said Mick, “you’re right I can.”

“Then hitch the horses right away–

You’ll find them in the barn–

The near one’s black, the off one gray–

And start to plowing corn.”

Though Mick spake up in accents bold

When the farmer asked the question fair,

He knew full well a lie he told,

For the beam he wot not from the share.

“Howly mother,” says Mick, “phwat’ll I do?

May the good St. Patrick now kape me from harm.

Begorra, but won’t the ould farmer look blue

When he sees Mick Hurley a-plowing his farm?”

But Mick made a start. In his throat was a lump.

He felt like a man just sentenced to death.

He hadn’t gone far when the plow struck a stump,

And heels over head went Mick, out of breath.

Ne’er daunted by fear, he tried it again.

“Be jabers,” says Mick, “I’m doing immense!”

But to steady the plow his trials were vain,

And each furrow resembled a crooked trail fence.

Old Sol had arisen quite high in the skies

When the farmer concluded to visit poor Mick:

But a glance at the field was such a surprise

That to look at the man you’d think he was sick.

“Stop! stop!” said the farmer, “or you surely will rue it;

To hold a plow with that team is nothing but play.”

“Howld it?” says Mick; “how the devil can I do it,

When two horses are trying to pull it away!”

Source: Huntington (WV) Advertiser, 9 July 1887.