"When we came to Hustler Hill,
he said that the mare was tired,
so we all got down and walked,
as our good manners required."
Bishop, page 49
Throughout Elizabeth Bishop's poem "Manners", there is a definite sense of humility and kindness. The family gets down from their wagon and permits the horse to rest in the final stanza. I found this kindness of the father's very humble: no matter what the situation seemed to be, he was kind, gentle, and calm.
Perhaps Bishop was trying to send a message about the times to the reader. The poem is specified as "for a child of 1918". Is she saying that times have changes and that people no longer have this kind of kindness and warmth? Perhaps the world could use more of the lesson taught to this child of 1918.