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395 Works of James Whitcomb Riley

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[From “Sketches in Prose.”] “God bless us every one!” prayed Tiny Tim, Crippled, and dwarfed of body, yet so tall Of soul, we tiptoe earth to look on him, High towering over all. He loved the loveless world, nor dreamed, indeed, That it, at best, could give to him, the while, But pitying glances, when […]

(THE OLD LADY SPEAKS.) Last Christmas was a year ago Says I to David, I-says-I, “We’re goin’ to mornin’ service, so You hitch up right away: I’ll try To tell the girls jes what to do Fer dinner. We’ll be back by two.” I didn’t wait to hear what he Would more’n like say back […]

Dear Lord, to Thee my knee is bent– Give me content– Full-pleasured with what comes to me, Whate’er it be: An humble roof–a frugal board, And simple hoard; The wintry fagot piled beside The chimney wide, While the enwreathing flames up-sprout And twine about The brazen dogs that guard my hearth And household worth: Tinge […]

A Good Man

Story type: Poetry

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I A good man never dies– In worthy deed and prayer And helpful hands, and honest eyes, If smiles or tears be there: Who lives for you and me– Lives for the world he tries To help–he lives eternally. A good man never dies. II Who lives to bravely take His share of toil and […]

The Old Days

Story type: Poetry

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The old days–the far days– The overdear and fair!– The old days–the lost days– How lovely they were! The old days of Morning, With the dew-drench on the flowers And apple-buds and blossoms Of those old days of ours. Then was the real gold Spendthrift Summer flung; Then was the real song Bird or Poet […]

She sang a song of May for me, Wherein once more I heard The mirth of my glad infancy– The orchard’s earliest bird– The joyous breeze among the trees New-clad in leaf and bloom, And there the happy honey-bees In dewy gleam and gloom. So purely, sweetly on the sense Of heart and spirit fell […]

How slight a thing may set one’s fancy drifting Upon the dead sea of the Past!–A view– Sometimes an odor–or a rooster lifting A far-off “Ooh! ooh-ooh!” And suddenly we find ourselves astray In some wood’s-pasture of the Long Ago– Or idly dream again upon a day Of rest we used to know. I bit […]

I’ve thought a power on men and things, As my uncle ust to say,– And ef folks don’t work as they pray, i jings! W’y, they ain’t no use to pray! Ef you want somepin’, and jes dead-set A-pleadin’ fer it with both eyes wet, And tears won’t bring it, w’y, you try sweat, As […]

We Must Believe

Story type: Poetry

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“Lord, I believe: help Thou mine unbelief.” We must believe– Being from birth endowed with love and trust– Born unto loving;–and how simply just That love–that faith!–even in the blossom-face The babe drops dreamward in its resting-place, Intuitively conscious of the sure Awakening to rapture ever pure And sweet and saintly as the mother’s own, […]

In The Evening

Story type: Poetry

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I In the evening of our days, When the first far stars above Glimmer dimmer, through the haze, Than the dewy eyes of love, Shall we mournfully revert To the vanished morns and Mays Of our youth, with hearts that hurt,– In the evening of our days? II Shall the hand that holds your own […]

Jim

Story type: Poetry

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He was jes a plain, ever’-day, all-round kind of a jour., Consumpted-lookin’–but la! The jokiest, wittiest, story-tellin’, song-singin’, laughin’est, jolliest Feller you ever saw! Worked at jes coarse work, but you kin bet he was fine enough in his talk, And his feelin’s, too! Lordy! ef he was on’y back on his bench ag’in to-day, […]

I quarrel not with Destiny, But make the best of everything– The best is good enough for me. Leave Discontent alone, and she Will shut her month and let you sing. I quarrel not with Destiny. I take some things, or let ’em be– Good gold has always got the ring; The best is good […]

"A Brave Refrain"

Story type: Poetry

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When snow is here, and the trees look weird, And the knuckled twigs are gloved with frost; When the breath congeals in the drover’s beard, And the old pathway to the barn is lost; When the rooster’s crow is sad to hear, And the stamp of the stabled horse is vain, And the tone of […]

It’s Got To Be

Story type: Poetry

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“When it’s got to be,”–like! always say, As I notice the years whiz past, And know each day is a yesterday, When we size it up, at last,– Same as I said when my boyhood went And I knowed we had to quit,– “It’s got to be, and it’s goin’ to be!”– So I said […]

"Out Of Reach?"

Story type: Poetry

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You think them “out of reach,” your dead? Nay, by my own dead, I deny Your “out of reach.”–Be comforted: ‘Tis not so far to die. O by their dear remembered smiles And outheld hands and welcoming speech, They wait for us, thousands of miles This side of “out-of-reach.”

Out of the hitherwhere into the Yon– The land that the Lord’s love rests upon; Where one may rely on the friends he meets, And the smiles that greet him along the streets: Where the mother that left you years ago Will lift the hands that were folded so, And put them about you, with […]

Jack-In-The-Box

Story type: Poetry

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(Grandfather, musing.) In childish days! O memory, You bring such curious things to me!– Laughs to the lip–tears to the eye, In looking on the gifts that lie Like broken playthings scattered o’er Imagination’s nursery floor! Did these old hands once click the key That let “Jack’s” box-lid upward fly, And that blear-eyed, fur-whiskered elf […]

Our Kind Of A Man

Story type: Poetry

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I The kind of a man for you and me! He faces the world unflinchingly, And smites, as long as the wrong resists, With a knuckled faith and force like fists: He lives the life he is preaching of, And loves where most is the need of love; His voice is clear to the deaf […]

“How did you rest, last night?”– I’ve heard my gran’pap say Them words a thousand times–that’s right– Jes them words thataway! As punctchul-like as morning dast To ever heave in sight Gran’pap ‘ud allus haf to ast– “How did you rest, last night?” Us young-uns used to grin, At breakfast, on the sly, And mock […]

Ay, thou varlet!–Laugh away! All the world’s a holiday! Laugh away, and roar and shout Till thy hoarse tongue lolleth out! Bloat thy cheeks, and bulge thine eyes Unto bursting; pelt thy thighs With thy swollen palms, and roar As thou never hast before! Lustier! wilt thou! peal on peal! Stiflest? Squat and grind thy […]

I But yesterday I looked away O’er happy lands, where sunshine lay In golden blots Inlaid with spots Of shade and wild forget-me-nots. My head was fair With flaxen hair, And fragrant breezes, faint and rare, And warm with drouth From out the south, Blew all my curls across my mouth. And, cool and sweet, […]

Song Of Parting

Story type: Poetry

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Say farewell, and let me go; Shatter every vow! All the future can bestow Will be welcome now! And if this fair hand I touch I have worshipped overmuch, It was my mistake–and so, Say farewell, and let me go. Say farewell, and let me go: Murmur no regret, Stay your tear-drops ere they flow– […]

A Scrawl

Story type: Poetry

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I want to sing something–but this is all– I try and I try, but the rhymes are dull As though they were damp, and the echoes fall Limp and unlovable. Words will not say what I yearn to say– They will not walk as I want them to, But they stumble and fall in the […]

My dear old friends–It jes beats all, The way you write a letter So’s ever’ last line beats the first, And ever’ next-un’s better!– W’y, ever’ fool-thing you putt down You make so interestin’, A feller, readin’ of ’em all, Can’t tell which is the best-un. It’s all so comfortin’ and good, ‘Pears-like I almost […]

O the old trundle-bed where I slept when a boy! What canopied king might not covet the joy? The glory and peace of that slumber of mine, Like a long, gracious rest in the bosom divine: The quaint, homely couch, hidden close from the light, But daintily drawn from its hiding at night. O a […]

Who bides his time, and day by day Faces defeat full patiently, And lifts a mirthful roundelay, However poor his fortunes be,– He will not fail in any qualm Of poverty–the paltry clime It will grow golden in his palm, Who bides his time. Who bides his time–he tastes the sweet Of honey in the […]

I am not prone to moralize In scientific doubt On certain facts that Nature tries To puzzle us about,– For I am no philosopher Of wise elucidation, But speak of things as they occur, From simple observation. I notice little things–to wit:– I never missed a train Because I didn’t run for it; I never […]

Dreamer, Say

Story type: Poetry

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Dreamer, say, will you dream for me A wild sweet dream of a foreign land, Whose border sips of a foaming sea With lips of coral and silver sand; Where warm winds loll on the shady deeps, Or lave themselves in the tearful mist The great wild wave of the breaker weeps O’er crags of […]

Our Own

Story type: Poetry

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They walk here with us, hand-in-hand; We gossip, knee-by-knee; They tell us all that they have planned– Of all their joys to be,– And, laughing, leave us: And, to-day, All desolate we cry Across wide waves of voiceless graves– Good-by! Good-by! Good-by!

Where-Away

Story type: Poetry

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O the Lands of Where-Away! Tell us–tell us–where are they? Through the darkness and the dawn We have journeyed on and on– From the cradle to the cross– From possession unto loss.– Seeking still, from day to day, For the Lands of Where-Away. When our baby-feet were first Planted where the daisies burst, And the […]

They’s a kind o’ feel in the air, to me. When the Chris’mas-times sets in. That’s about as much of a mystery As ever I’ve run ag’in!– Fer instunce, now, whilse I gain in weight And gineral health, I swear They’s a goneness somers I can’t quite state– A kind o’ feel in the air. […]

As Created

Story type: Poetry

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There’s a space for good to bloom in Every heart of man or woman,– And however wild or human, Or however brimmed with gall, Never heart may beat without it; And the darkest heart to doubt it Has something good about it After all.

For You

Story type: Poetry

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For you, I could forget the gay Delirium of merriment, And let my laughter die away In endless silence of content. I could forget, for your dear sake, The utter emptiness and ache Of every loss I ever knew.– What could I not forget for you? I could forget the just deserts Of mine own […]

The Mulberry Tree

Story type: Poetry

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It’s many’s the scenes which is dear to my mind As I think of my childhood so long left behind; The home of my birth, with it’s old puncheon-floor, And the bright morning-glories that growed round the door; The warped clab-board roof whare the rain it run off Into streams of sweet dreams as I […]

We are not always glad when we smile: Though we wear a fair face and are gay, And the world we deceive May not ever believe We could laugh in a happier way.– Yet, down in the deeps of the soul, Ofttimes, with our faces aglow, There’s an ache and a moan That we know […]

His Room

Story type: Poetry

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“I’m home again, my dear old Room, I’m home again, and happy, too, As, peering through the brightening gloom, I find myself alone with you: Though brief my stay, nor far away, I missed you–missed you night and day– As wildly yearned for you as now.– Old Room, how are you, anyhow? “My easy chair, […]

The Plaint Human

Story type: Poetry

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Season of snows, and season of flowers, Seasons of loss and gain!– Since grief and joy must alike be ours, Why do we still complain? Ever our failing, from sun to sun, O my intolerant brother– We want just a little too little of one, And much too much of the other.

Thinkin’ Back

Story type: Poetry

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I’ve ben thinkin’ back, of late, S’prisin’!–And I’m here to state I’m suspicious it’s a sign Of age, maybe, or decline Of my faculties,–and yit I’m not feelin’ old a bit– Any more than sixty-four Ain’t no young man any more! Thinkin’ back’s a thing ‘at grows On a feller, I suppose– Older ‘at he […]

We Must Get Home

Story type: Poetry

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We must get home! How could we stray like this?– So far from home, we know not where it is,– Only in some fair, apple-blossomy place Of children’s faces–and the mother’s face– We dimly dream it, till the vision clears Even in the eyes of fancy, glad with tears. We must get home–for we have […]

Just To Be Good

Story type: Poetry

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Just to be good– This is enough–enough! O we who find sin’s billows wild and rough, Do we not feel how more than any gold Would be the blameless life we led of old While yet our lips knew but a mother’s kiss? Ah! though we miss All else but this, To be good is […]

Chairley Burke

Story type: Poetry

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It’s Chairley Burke’s in town, b’ys! He’s down til “Jamesy’s Place,” Wid a bran’ new shave upon ‘um, an’ the fhwhuskers aff his face; He’s quit the Section Gang last night, and yez can chalk it down, There’s goin’ to be the divil’s toime, sence Chairley Burke’s in town. It’s treatin’ iv’ry b’y he is, […]

Says He

Story type: Poetry

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“Whatever the weather may be,” says he– “Whatever the weather may be, It’s plaze, if ye will, an’ I’ll say me say,– Supposin’ to-day was the winterest day, Wud the weather be changing because ye cried, Or the snow be grass were ye crucified? The best is to make your own summer,” says he, “Whatever […]

The Bat

Story type: Poetry

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I. Thou dread, uncanny thing, With fuzzy breast and leathern wing, In mad, zigzagging flight, Notching the dusk, and buffeting The black cheeks of the night, With grim delight! II. What witch’s hand unhasps Thy keen claw-cornered wings From under the barn roof, and flings Thee forth, with chattering gasps, To scud the air, And […]

I’ got no patience with blues at all! And I ust to kindo talk Aginst ’em, and claim, ‘tel along last Fall, They was none in the fambly stock; But a nephew of mine, from Eelinoy, That visited us last year, He kindo convinct me differunt While he was a-stayin’ here. Frum ever’-which way that […]

The Drum

Story type: Poetry

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O the drum! There is some Intonation in thy grum Monotony of utterance that strikes the spirit dumb, As we hear Through the clear And unclouded atmosphere, Thy palpitating syllables roll in upon the car! There’s a part Of the art Of thy music-throbbing heart That thrills a something in us that awakens with a […]

The Way It Wuz

Story type: Poetry

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Las’ July–an’, I persume ‘Bout as hot As the ole Gran’-Jury room Where they sot!– Fight ‘twixt Mike an’ Dock McGriff– ‘Pears to me jes’ like as if I’d a dremp’ the whole blame thing– Allus ha’nts me roun’ the gizzard When they’re nightmares on the wing, An’ a feller’s blood’s jes’ friz! Seed the […]

In The South

Story type: Poetry

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There is a princess in the South About whose beauty rumors hum Like honey-bees about the mouth Of roses dewdrops falter from; And O her hair is like the fine Clear amber of a jostled wine In tropic revels; and her eyes Are blue as rifts of Paradise. Such beauty as may none before Kneel […]

Lullaby

Story type: Poetry

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The maple strews the embers of its leaves O’er the laggard swallows nestled ‘neath the eaves; And the moody cricket falters in his cry–Baby-bye!– And the lid of night is falling o’er the sky–Baby-bye!– The lid of night is falling o’er the sky! The rose is lying pallid, and the cup Of the frosted calla-lily […]

A passel o’ the boys last night– An’ me amongst ’em–kindo got To talkin’ Temper’nce left an’ right, An’ workin’ up “blue-ribbon,” hot; An’ while we was a-countin’ jes’ How many bed gone into hit An’ signed the pledge, some feller says,– “Tom Johnson’s quit!” We laughed, of course–’cause Tom, you know, He’s spiled more […]

This is “The old Home by the Mill”–far we still call it so, Although the old mill, roof and sill, is all gone long ago. The old home, though, and old folks, and the old spring, and a few Old cat-tails, weeds and hartychokes, is left to welcome you! Here, Marg’et, fetch the man a […]

Wait for the morning:–It will come, indeed, As surely as the night hath given need. The yearning eyes, at last, will strain their sight No more unanswered by the morning light; No longer will they vainly strive, through tears, To pierce the darkness of thy doubts and fears, But, bathed in balmy dews and rays […]

A Leave-Taking

Story type: Poetry

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She will not smile; She will not stir; I marvel while I look on her. The lips are chilly And will not speak; The ghost of a lily In either cheek. Her hair–ah me! Her hair–her hair! How helplessly My hands go there! But my caresses Meet not hers, O golden tresses That thread my […]

Beautiful Hands

Story type: Poetry

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O your hands–they are strangely fair! Fair–for the jewels that sparkle there,– Fair–for the witchery of the spell That ivory keys alone can tell; But when their delicate touches rest Here in my own do I love them best, As I clasp with eager acquisitive spans My glorious treasure of beautiful hands! Marvelous–wonderful–beautiful hands! They […]

A was an elegant Ape Who tied up his ears with red tape, And wore a long veil Half revealing his tail Which was trimmed with jet bugles and crape. B was a boastful old Bear Who used to say,–“Hoomh! I declare I can eat–if you’ll get me The children, and let me– Ten babies, […]

When June is here–what art have we to sing The whiteness of the lilies midst the green Of noon-tranced lawns? Or flash of roses seen Like redbirds’ wings? Or earliest ripening Prince-Harvest apples, where the cloyed bees cling Round winey juices oozing down between The peckings of the robin, while we lean In under-grasses, lost […]

The pipes of Pan! Not idler now are they Than when their cunning fashioner first blew The pith of music from them: Yet for you And me their notes are blown in many a way Lost in our murmurings for that old day That fared so well, without us.–Waken to The pipings here at hand:–The […]

DEDICATION To HEWITT HANSON HOWLAND WITH HALEST CHRISTMAS GREETINGS AND FRATERNAL Little Boy! Halloo!–halloo! Can’t you hear me calling you?– Little Boy that used to be, Come in here and play with me. A Defective Santa Claus Allus when our Pa he’s away Nen Uncle Sidney comes to stay At our house here–so Ma an’ […]

The ordered intermingling of the real and the dream,– The mill above the river, and the mist above the stream; The life of ceaseless labor, brave with song and cheery call– The radiant skies of evening, with its rainbow o’er us all. AN OLD SWEETHEART OF MINE!–Is this her presence here with me, Or but […]

Heat-Lightning

Story type: Poetry

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There was a curious quiet for a space Directly following: and in the face Of one rapt listener pulsed the flush and glow Of the heat-lightning that pent passions throw Long ere the crash of speech.–He broke the spell– The host:–The Traveler’s story, told so well, He said, had wakened there within his breast A […]

Ho! the old Snow-Man That Noey Bixler made! He looked as fierce and sassy As a soldier on parade!– ‘Cause Noey, when he made him, While we all wuz gone, you see, He made him, jist a-purpose, Jist as fierce as he could be!– But when we all got ust to him, Nobody wuz afraid […]

The greeting of the company throughout Was like a jubilee,–the children’s shout And fusillading hand-claps, with great guns And detonations of the older ones, Raged to such tumult of tempestuous joy, It even more alarmed than pleased the boy; Till, with a sudden twitching lip, he slid Down to the floor and dodged across and […]

Coming, clean from the Maryland-end Of this great National Road of ours, Through your vast West; with the time to spend, Stopping for days in the main towns, where Every citizen seemed a friend, And friends grew thick as the wayside flowers,– I found no thing that I might narrate More singularly strange or queer […]

The merriment that followed was subdued– As though the story-teller’s attitude Were dual, in a sense, appealing quite As much to sorrow as to mere delight, According, haply, to the listener’s bent Either of sad or merry temperament.– “And of your two appeals I much prefer The pathos,” said “The Noted Traveler,”– “For should I […]

The Bear-Story

Story type: Poetry

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THAT ALEX “IST MAKED UP HIS-OWN-SE’F” W’y, wunst they wuz a Little Boy went out In the woods to shoot a Bear. So, he went out ‘Way in the grea’-big woods–he did.–An’ he Wuz goin’along–an’goin’along, you know, An’ purty soon he heerd somepin’ go “Wooh!”— Ist thataway–“Woo-ooh!” An’ he wuz skeered, He wuz. An’ so […]

“They ain’t much ‘tale’ about it!” Noey said.– “K’tawby grapes wuz gittin’ good-n-red I rickollect; and Tubb Kingry and me ‘Ud kindo’ browse round town, daytime, to see What neighbers ‘peared to have the most to spare ‘At wuz git-at-able and no dog there When we come round to git ’em, say ’bout ten O’clock […]

My little story, Cousin Rufus said, Is not so much a story as a fact. It is about a certain willful boy– An aggrieved, unappreciated boy, Grown to dislike his own home very much, By reason of his parents being not At all up to his rigid standard and Requirements and exactions as a son […]

Some peoples thinks they ain’t no Fairies now No more yet!–But they is, I bet! ‘Cause ef They wuzn’t Fairies, nen I’ like to know Who’d w’ite ’bout Fairies in the books, an’ tell What Fairies does, an’ how their picture looks, An’ all an’ ever’thing! W’y, ef they don’t Be Fairies anymore, nen little […]

All were quite gracious in their plaudits of Bud’s Fairy; but another stir above That murmur was occasioned by a sweet Young lady-caller, from a neighboring street, Who rose reluctantly to say good-night To all the pleasant friends and the delight Experienced,–as she had promised sure To be back home by nine. Then paused, demure, […]

All seemed delighted, though the elders more, Of course, than were the children.–Thus, before Much interchange of mirthful compliment, The story-teller said his stories “went” (Like a bad candle) best when they went out,– And that some sprightly music, dashed about, Would wholly quench his “glimmer,” and inspire Far brighter lights. And, answering this desire, […]

The audience entire seemed pleased–indeed Extremely pleased. And little Maymie, freed From her task of instructing, ran to show Her wondrous colored picture to and fro Among the company. “And how comes it,” said Some one to Mr. Hammond, “that, instead Of the inventor’s life you did not choose The artist’s?–since the world can better […]

I He was a Dreamer of the Days: Indolent as a lazy breeze Of midsummer, in idlest ways Lolling about in the shade of trees. The farmer turned–as he passed him by Under the hillside where he kneeled Plucking a flower–with scornful eye And rode ahead in the harvest field Muttering–“Lawz! ef that-air shirk Of […]

Within the sitting-room, the company Had been increased in number. Two or three Young couples had been added: Emma King, Ella and Mary Mathers–all could sing Like veritable angels–Lydia Martin, too, And Nelly Millikan.–What songs they knew!– “‘Ever of Thee–wherever I may be, Fondly I’m drea-m-ing ever of thee!'” And with their gracious voices blend […]

W’y, one time wuz a little-weenty dirl, An’ she wuz named Red Riding Hood, ’cause her– Her Ma she maked a little red cloak fer her ‘At turnt up over her head–An’ it ‘uz all Ist one piece o’ red cardinal ‘at ‘s like The drate-long stockin’s the store-keepers has.– O! it ‘uz purtiest cloak […]

At Noey’s House

Story type: Poetry

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At Noey’s house–when they arrived with him– How snug seemed everything, and neat and trim: The little picket-fence, and little gate– It’s little pulley, and its little weight,– All glib as clock-work, as it clicked behind Them, on the little red brick pathway, lined With little paint-keg-vases and teapots Of wee moss-blossoms and forgetmenots: And […]

“Hey, Bud! O Bud!” rang out a gleeful call,– “The Loehrs is come to your house!” And a small But very much elated little chap, In snowy linen-suit and tasseled cap, Leaped from the back-fence just across the street From Bixlers’, and came galloping to meet His equally delighted little pair Of playmates, hurrying out […]

The Hired Man’s supper, which he sat before, In near reach of the wood-box, the stove-door And one leaf of the kitchen-table, was Somewhat belated, and in lifted pause His dextrous knife was balancing a bit Of fried mush near the port awaiting it. At the glad children’s advent–gladder still To find him there–“Jest tickled […]

While any day was notable and dear That gave the children Noey, history here Records his advent emphasized indeed With sharp italics, as he came to feed The stock one special morning, fair and bright, When Johnty and Bud met him, with delight Unusual even as their extra dress– Garbed as for holiday, with much […]

Almon Keefer

Story type: Poetry

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Ah, Almon Keefer! what a boy you were, With your back-tilted hat and careless hair, And open, honest, fresh, fair face and eyes With their all-varying looks of pleased surprise And joyous interest in flower and tree, And poising humming-bird, and maundering bee. The fields and woods he knew; the tireless tramp With gun and […]

Noey Bixler

Story type: Poetry

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Another hero of those youthful years Returns, as Noey Bixler’s name appears. And Noey–if in any special way– Was notably good-natured.–Work or play He entered into with selfsame delight– A wholesome interest that made him quite As many friends among the old as young,– So everywhere were Noey’s praises sung. And he was awkward, fat […]

Even in such a scene of senseless play The children were surprised one summer-day By a strange man who called across the fence, Inquiring for their father’s residence; And, being answered that this was the place, Opened the gate, and with a radiant face, Came in and sat down with them in the shade And […]

The Child-World

Story type: Poetry

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A Child-World, yet a wondrous world no less, To those who knew its boundless happiness. A simple old frame house–eight rooms in all– Set just one side the center of a small But very hopeful Indiana town,– The upper-story looking squarely down Upon the main street, and the main highway From East to West,–historic in […]

Such was the Child-World of the long-ago– The little world these children used to know:– Johnty, the oldest, and the best, perhaps, Of the five happy little Hoosier chaps Inhabiting this wee world all their own.– Johnty, the leader, with his native tone Of grave command–a general on parade Whose each punctilious order was obeyed […]

Climatic Sorcery

Story type: Poetry

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When frost’s all on our winder, an’ the snow’s All out-o’-doors, our “Old-Kriss”-milkman goes A-drivin’ round, ist purt’-nigh froze to death, With his old white mustache froze full o’ breath. But when it’s summer an’ all warm ag’in, He comes a-whistlin’ an’ a-drivin in Our alley, ‘thout no coat on, ner ain’t cold, Ner his […]

Sometimes I think ‘at Parents does Things ist about as bad as us— Wite ‘fore our vurry eyes, at that! Fer one time Pa he scold’ my Ma ‘Cause he can’t find his hat; An’ she ist cried, she did! An’ I Says, “Ef you scold my Ma Ever again an’ make her cry, Wy, […]

O the night was dark and the night was late, And the robbers came to rob him; And they picked the locks of his palace-gate, The robbers that came to rob him– They picked the locks of his palace-gate, Seized his jewels and gems of state, His coffers of gold and his priceless plate,– The […]

Old Man Whiskery-Whee-Kum-Wheeze Lives ‘way up in the leaves o’ trees. An’ wunst I slipped up-stairs to play In Aunty’s room, while she ‘uz away; An’ I clumbed up in her cushion-chair An’ ist peeked out o’ the winder there; An’ there I saw–wite out in the trees– Old Man Whiskery-Whee-Kum-Wheeze! An’ Old Man Whiskery-Whee-Kum-Wheeze […]

Last Thanksgivin’-dinner we Et at Granny’s house, an’ she Had–ist like she alluz does– Most an’ best pies ever wuz. Canned black burry-pie an’ goose Burry, squshin’-full o’ juice; An’ rozburry–yes, an’ plum– Yes, an’ churry-pie–um-yum! Peach an’ punkin, too, you bet. Lawzy! I kin taste ’em yet! Yes, an’ custard-pie, an’ mince! An’–I–ain’t–et–no–pie–since!

[A.T.] Wind of the Sea, come fill my sail– Lend me the breath of a freshening gale And bear my port-worn ship away! For O the greed of the tedious town– The shutters up and the shutters down! Wind of the Sea, sweep over the bay And bear me away!–away! Whither you bear me, Wind […]

Subtlety (song)

Story type: Poetry

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[R.B.] Whilst little Paul, convalescing, was staying Close indoors, and his boisterous classmates paying Him visits, with fresh school-notes and surprises,– With nettling pride they sprung the word “Athletic,” With much advice and urgings sympathetic Anent “Athletic exercises.” Wise as Lad might look, quoth Paul: “I’ve pondered o’er that ‘Athletic,’ but I mean to take, […]

[W.M.] Most-like it was this kingly lad Spake out of the pure joy he had In his child-heart of the wee maid Whose eerie beauty sudden laid A spell upon him, and his words Burst as a song of any bird’s:– A peerless Princess thou shalt be, Through wit of love’s rare sorcery: To crown […]

[W.W.] A little maid, of summers four– Did you compute her years,– And yet how infinitely more To me her age appears: I mark the sweet child’s serious air, At her unplayful play,– The tiny doll she mothers there And lulls to sleep away, Grows–‘neath the grave similitude– An infant real, to me, And she […]

A Bear Family

Story type: Poetry

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Wunst, ‘way West in Illinoise, Wuz two Bears an’ their two boys: An’ the two boys’ names, you know, Wuz–like ours is,–Jim an’ Jo; An’ their parunts’ names wuz same’s, All big grown-up people’s names,– Ist Miz Bear, the neighbers call ‘Em, an’ Mister Bear–‘at’s all. Yes–an’ Miz Bear scold him, too, Ist like grown […]

SONG [W.S.] With a hey! and a hi! and a hey-ho rhyme! O the shepherd lad He is ne’er so glad As when he pipes, in the blossom-time, So rare! While Kate picks by, yet looks not there. So rare! so rare! With a hey! and a hi! and a ho! The grasses curdle where […]

[R.H.] Little Julia, since that we May not as our elders be, Let us blithely fill the days Of our youth with pleasant plays. First we’ll up at earliest dawn, While as yet the dew is on The sooth’d grasses and the pied Blossomings of morningtide; Next, with rinsed cheeks that shine As the enamell’d […]

A Song Of Singing

Story type: Poetry

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Sing! gangling lad, along the brink Of wild brook-ways of shoal and deep, Where killdees dip, and cattle drink, And glinting little minnows leap! Sing! slimpsy lass who trips above And sets the foot-log quivering! Sing! bittern, bumble-bee, and dove– Sing! Sing! Sing! Sing as you will, O singers all Who sing because you want […]

The Jaybird

Story type: Poetry

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The Jaybird he’s my favorite Of all the birds they is! I think he’s quite a stylish sight In that blue suit of his: An’ when he’ lights an’ shuts his wings, His coat’s a “cutaway”– I guess it’s only when he sings You’d know he wuz a jay. I like to watch him when […]

1 THE DINERS IN THE KITCHEN Our dog Fred Et the bread. Our dog Dash Et the hash. Our dog Pete Et the meat. Our dog Davy Et the gravy. Our dog Toffy Et the coffee. Our dog Jake Et the cake. Our dog Trip Et the dip. And–the worst, From the first,– Our dog […]

Us-folks is purty pore–but Ma She’s waitin’–two years more–tel Pa He serve his term out. Our Pa he– He’s in the Penitenchurrie! Now don’t you never tell!–’cause Sis, The baby, she don’t know he is.– ‘Cause she wuz only four, you know, He kissed her last an’ hat to go! Pa alluz liked Sis best […]

O here’s a little rhyme for the Spring- or Summer-time– An a-ho-winky-tooden-an-a-ho!– Just a little bit o’ tune you can twitter, May or June, An a-ho-winky-tooden-an-a-ho! It’s a song that soars and sings, As the birds that twang their wings Or the katydids and things Thus and so, don’t you know, An a-ho-winky-tooden-an-a-ho! It’s a […]

"Old Bob White"

Story type: Poetry

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Old Bob White’s a funny bird!– Funniest you ever heard!– Hear him whistle,–“Old–Bob–White!” You can hear him, clean from where He’s ‘way ‘crosst the wheat-field there, Whistlin’ like he didn’t care– “Old-Bob-White!” Whistles alluz ist the same– So’s we won’t fergit his name!– Hear him say it?–“Old–Bob–White!” There! he’s whizzed off down the lane– Gone […]

[1869] Now, Tudens, you sit on this knee–and ‘scuse It having no side-saddle on;–and, Jeems, You sit on this–and don’t you wobble so And chug my old shins with your coppertoes;– And, all the rest of you, range round someway,– Ride on the rockers and hang to the arms Of our old-time splint-bottom carryall!– Do […]

Uncle he says ‘at ‘way down in the sea Ever’thing’s ist like it used to be:– He says they’s mermaids, an’ mermens, too, An’ little merchildern, like me an’ you– Little merboys, with tops an’ balls, An’ little mergirls, with little merdolls. Uncle Sidney’s vurry proud Of little Leslie-Janey, ‘Cause she’s so smart, an’ goes […]

When two little boys–renowned but for noise– Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy!– May hurt a whole school, and the head it employs, Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy! Such loud and hilarious pupils indeed Need learning–and yet something further they need, Though fond hearts that love them may sorrow and bleed. Hik-tee-dik! Billy and Buddy! O the schoolmarm […]

Pa he bringed me here to stay ‘Til my Ma she’s well.–An’ nen He’s go’ hitch up, Chris’mus-day, An’ come take me back again Wher’ my Ma’s at! Won’t I be Tickled when he comes fer me! My Ma an’ my A’nty they ‘Uz each-uvver’s sisters. Pa– A’nty telled me, th’ other day,– He comed […]

Picnics is fun ‘at’s purty hard to beat. I purt’-nigh ruther go to them than eat. I purt’-nigh ruther go to them than go With our Charlotty to the Trick-Dog Show.

When we hear Uncle Sidney tell About the long-ago An’ old, old friends he loved so well When he was young–My-oh!– Us childern all wish we’d ‘a’ bin A-livin’ then with Uncle,–so We could a-kindo’ happened in On them old friends he used to know!– The good, old-fashioned people– The hale, hard-working people– The kindly […]

The Best Times

Story type: Poetry

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When Old Folks they wuz young like us An’ little as you an’ me,– Them wuz the best times ever wuz Er ever goin’ to be!

"Company Manners"

Story type: Poetry

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When Bess gave her Dollies a Tea, said she,– “It’s unpolite, when they’s Company, To say you’ve drinked two cups, you see,– But say you’ve drinked a couple of tea.”

We’re The Twins from Aunt Marinn’s, Igo and Ago. When Dad comes, the show begins!– Iram, coram, dago. Dad he says he named us two Igo and Ago For a poem he always knew, Iram, coram, dago. Then he was a braw Scotchman– Igo and Ago.– Now he’s Scotch-Amer-i-can. Iram, coram, dago. “Hey!” he cries, […]

“When little ‘Pollus Morton he’s A-go’ to speak a piece, w’y, nen The Teacher smiles an’ says ‘at she’s Most proud, of all her little men An’ women in her school–’cause ‘Poll He allus speaks the best of all. An’ nen she’ll pat him on the cheek, An’ hold her finger up at you Before […]

The Noble Old Elm

Story type: Poetry

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O big old tree, so tall an’ fine, Where all us childern swings an’ plays, Though neighbers says you’re on the line Between Pa’s house an’ Mr. Gray’s,– Us childern used to almost fuss, Old Tree, about you when we ‘d play.– We’d argy you belonged to us, An’ them Gray-kids the other way! Till […]

The Katydids

Story type: Poetry

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Sometimes I keep From going to sleep, To hear the katydids “cheep-cheep!” And think they say Their prayers that way; But katydids don’t have to pray! I listen when They cheep again And so, I think, they’re singing then! But, no; I’m wrong,– The sound’s too long And all-alike to be a song! I think, […]

Ho! it’s come, kids, come! “With a bim! bam! bum! Here’s little Billy bangin’ on his big bass drum! He’s a-marchin’ round the room, With his feather-duster plume A-noddin’ an’ a-bobbin’ with his bim! bom! boom! Looky, little Jane an’ Jim! Will you only look at him, A-humpin’ an’ a-thumpin’ with his bam! bom! bim! […]

Fool-Youngens

Story type: Poetry

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Me an’ Bert an’ Minnie-Belle Knows a joke, an’ we won’t tell! No, we don’t–’cause we don’t know Why we got to laughin’ so; But we got to laughin’ so, “We ist kep’ a-laughin’. Wind wuz blowin’ in the tree– An’ wuz only ist us three Playin’ there; an’ ever’ one Ketched each other, like […]

Tommy’s alluz playin’ jokes, An’ actin’ up, an’ foolin’ folks; An’ wunst one time he creep In Pa’s big chair, he did, one night, An’ squint an’ shut his eyes bofe tight, An’ say, “Now I ‘m asleep.” An’ nen we knowed, an’ Ma know’ too, He ain’t asleep no more ‘n you! An’ wunst […]

Scene.– A kitchen.–Group of Children, popping corn.–The Fairy Queen of the Seasons discovered in the smoke of the corn-popper.–Waving her wand, and, with eerie, sharp, imperious ejaculations, addressing the bespelled auditors, who neither see nor hear her nor suspect her presence. QUEEN Summer or Winter or Spring or Fall,– Which do you like the best […]

The Boy Patriot

Story type: Poetry

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I want to be a Soldier!– A Soldier!– A Soldier!– I want to be a Soldier, with a sabre in my hand Or a little carbine rifle, or a musket on my shoulder, Or just a snare-drum, snarling in the middle of the band; I want to hear, high overhead, The Old Flag flap her […]

Extremes

Story type: Poetry

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I A little boy once played so loud That the Thunder, up in a thunder-cloud, Said, “Since I can’t be heard, why, then I’ll never, never thunder again!” II And a little girl once kept so still That she heard a fly on the window-sill Whisper and say to a lady-bird,– “She’s the stilliest child […]

Parunts knows lots more than us, But they don’t know all things,– ‘Cause we ketch ’em, lots o’ times, Even on little small things. One time Winnie ask’ her Ma, At the winder, sewin’, What’s the wind a-doin’ when It’s a-not a-blowin‘? Yes, an’ ‘Del’, that very day, When we’re nearly froze out, He ask’ […]

The Rambo-Tree

Story type: Poetry

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When Autumn shakes the rambo-tree– It’s a long, sweet way across the orchard!– The bird sings low as the bumble-bee– It’s a long, sweet way across the orchard!– The poor shote-pig he says, says he: “When Autumn shakes the rambo-tree There’s enough for you and enough for me.”– It’s a long, sweet way across the […]

Find The Favorite

Story type: Poetry

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Our three cats is Maltese cats, An’ they’s two that’s white,– An’ bofe of ’em’s deef–an’ that’s ‘Cause their eyes ain’t right.– Uncle say that Huxley say Eyes of white Maltese– When they don’t match thataway– They’re deef as you please! Girls, they like our white cats best, ‘Cause they’re white as snow, Yes, an’ […]

Wasn’t it a good time, Long Time Ago– When we all were little tads And first played “Show”!– When every newer day Wore as bright a glow As the ones we laughed away– Long Time Ago! Calf was in the back-lot; Clover in the red; Bluebird in the pear-tree; Pigeons on the shed; Tom a-chargin’ […]

Gracie wuz allus a careless tot; But Gracie dearly loved her doll, An’ played wiv it on the winder-sill ‘Way up-stairs, when she ought to not, An’ her muvver telled her so an’ all; But she won’t mind what she say–till, First thing she know, her dolly fall Clean spang out o’ the winder plumb […]

Dream-March

Story type: Poetry

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“Wasn’t it a funny dream!–perfectly bewild’rin’!– Last night, and night before, and night before that, Seemed like I saw the march o’ regiments o’ children, Marching to the robin’s fife and cricket’s rat-ta-tat! Lily-banners overhead, with the dew upon ’em, On flashed the little army, as with sword and flame; Like the buzz o’ bumble-wings, […]

Elmer Brown

Story type: Poetry

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Awf’lest boy in this-here town Er anywheres is Elmer Brown! He’ll mock you–yes, an’ strangers, too, An’ make a face an’ yell at you,– “Here’s the way you look!” Yes, an’ wunst in School one day, An’ Teacher’s lookin’ wite that way, He helt his slate, an’ hide his head, An’ maked a face at […]

No Boy Knows

Story type: Poetry

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There are many things that boys may know– Why this and that are thus and so,– Who made the world in the dark and lit The great sun up to lighten it: Boys know new things every day– When they study, or when they play,– When they idle, or sow and reap– But no boy […]

When I wuz ist a little bit o’ weenty-teenty kid I maked up a Fairy-tale, all by myse’f, I did:– I Wunst upon a time wunst They wuz a Fairy King, An’ ever’thing he have wuz gold–, His clo’es, an’ ever‘thing! An’ all the other Fairies In his goldun Palace-hall Had to hump an’ hustle– […]

Bound and bordered in leaf-green, Edged with trellised buds and flowers And glad Summer-gold, with clean White and purple morning-glories Such as suit the songs and stories Of this book of ours, Unrevised in text or scene,– The Book of Joyous Children. Wild and breathless in their glee– Lawless rangers of all ways Winding through […]

Father all bountiful, in mercy bear With this our universal voice of prayer– The voice that needs must be Upraised in thanks to Thee, O Father, from Thy children everywhere. A multitudinous voice, wherein we fain Wouldst have Thee hear no lightest sob of pain– No murmur of distress, Nor moan of loneliness, Nor drip […]

Old Indiany

Story type: Poetry

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INTENDED FOR A DINNER OF THE INDIANA SOCIETY OF CHICAGO Old Indiany, ‘course we know Is first, and best, and most, also, Of all the States’ whole forty-four:– She’s first in ever’thing, that’s shore!– And best in ever’way as yet Made known to man; and you kin bet She’s most, because she won’t confess She […]

Dear old friend of us all in need Who know the worth of a friend indeed, How rejoiced are we all to learn Of your glad return. We who have missed your voice so long– Even as March might miss the song Of the sugar-bird in the maples when They’re tapped again. Even as the […]

Reach your hand to me, my friend, With its heartiest caress– Sometime there will come an end To its present faithfulness– Sometime I may ask in vain For the touch of it again, When between us land or sea Holds it ever back from me. Sometime I may need it so, Groping somewhere in the […]

That Night

Story type: Poetry

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You and I, and that night, with its perfume and glory!– The scent of the locusts–the light of the moon; And the violin weaving the waltzers a story, Enmeshing their feet in the weft of the tune, Till their shadows uncertain Reeled round on the curtain, While under the trellis we drank in the June. […]

To Almon Keefer

Story type: Poetry

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INSCRIBED IN “TALES OF THE OCEAN” This first book that I ever knew Was read aloud to me by you– Friend of my boyhood, therefore take It back from me, for old times’ sake– The selfsame “Tales” first read to me, Under “the old sweet apple tree,” Ere I myself could read such great Big […]

A Mother-Song

Story type: Poetry

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Mother, O mother! forever I cry for you, Sing the old song I may never forget; Even in slumber I murmur and sigh for you.– Mother, O mother, Sing low, “Little brother, Sleep, for thy mother bends over thee yet!” Mother, O mother! the years are so lonely, Filled but with weariness, doubt and regret! […]

The Stepmother

Story type: Poetry

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First she come to our house, Tommy run and hid; And Emily and Bob and me We cried jus’ like we did When Mother died,–and we all said ‘At we all wisht ‘at we was dead! And Nurse she couldn’t stop us; And Pa he tried and tried,– We sobbed and shook and wouldn’t look, […]

When Old Jack died, we stayed from school (they said, At home, we needn’t go that day), and none Of us ate any breakfast–only one, And that was Papa–and his eyes were red When he came round where we were, by the shed Where Jack was lying, half-way in the sun And half-way in the […]

Because

Story type: Poetry

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Why did we meet long years of yore? And why did we strike hands and say “We will be friends and nothing more”; Why are we musing thus to-day? Because because was just because, And no one knew just why it was. Why did I say good-by to you? Why did I sail across the […]

‘Tis said old Santa Claus one time Told this joke on himself in rhyme: One Christmas, in the early din That ever leads the morning in, I heard the happy children shout In rapture at the toys turned out Of bulging little socks and shoes– A joy at which I could but choose To listen […]

Abe Martin

Story type: Poetry

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Abe Martin!–dad-burn his old picture! P’tends he’s a Brown County fixture– A kind of a comical mixture Of hoss-sense and no sense at all! His mouth, like his pipe, ‘s allus goin’, And his thoughts, like his whiskers, is flowin’, And what he don’t know ain’t wuth knowin’– From Genesis clean to baseball! The artist, […]

Herr Weiser

Story type: Poetry

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Herr Weiser!–Threescore years and ten,– A hale white rose of his countrymen, Transplanted here in the Hoosier loam, And blossomy as his German home– As blossomy and as pure and sweet As the cool green glen of his calm retreat, Far withdrawn from the noisy town Where trade goes clamoring up and down, Whose fret […]

Her Valentine

Story type: Poetry

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Somebody’s sent a funny little valentine to me. It’s a bunch of baby-roses in a vase of filigree, And hovering above them–just as cute as he can be– Is a fairy Cupid tangled in a scarf of poetry. And the prankish little fellow looks so knowing in his glee, With his golden bow and arrow, […]

In The Afternoon

Story type: Poetry

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You in the hammock; and I, near by, Was trying to read, and to swing you, too; And the green of the sward was so kind to the eye, And the shade of the maples so cool and blue, That often I looked from the book to you To say as much, with a sigh. […]

Dan O’sullivan

Story type: Poetry

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Dan O’Sullivan: It’s your Lips have kissed “The Blarney,” sure!– To be trillin’ praise av me, Dhrippin’ swhate wid poethry!– Not that I’d not have ye sing– Don’t lave off for anything– Jusht be aisy whilst the fit Av me head shwells up to it! Dade and thrue, I’m not the man, Whilst yer singin’, […]

A word of Godspeed and good cheer To all on earth, or far or near, Or friend or foe, or thine or mine– In echo of the voice divine, Heard when the star bloomed forth and lit The world’s face, with God’s smile on it.

My Old Friend

Story type: Poetry

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You’ve a manner all so mellow, My old friend, That it cheers and warms a fellow, My old friend, Just to meet and greet you, and Feel the pressure of a hand That one may understand, My old friend. Though dimmed in youthful splendor, My old friend, Your smiles are still as tender, My old […]

Old John Henry

Story type: Poetry

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Old John’s jes’ made o’ the commonest stuff– Old John Henry– He’s tough, I reckon,–but none too tough– Too tough though’s better than not enough! Says old John Henry. He does his best, and when his best’s bad, He don’t fret none, ner he don’t git sad– He simply ‘lows it’s the best he had: […]

My Friend

Story type: Poetry

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“He is my friend,” I said,– “Be patient!” Overhead The skies were drear and dim; And lo! the thought of him Smiled on my heart–and then The sun shone out again! “He is my friend!” The words Brought summer and the birds; And all my winter-time Thawed into running rhyme And rippled into song, Warm, […]

The Traveling Man

Story type: Poetry

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I Could I pour out the nectar the gods only can, I would fill up my glass to the brim And drink the success of the Traveling Man, And the house represented by him; And could I but tincture the glorious draught With his smiles, as I drank to him then, And the jokes he […]

He puts the poem by, to say His eyes are not themselves to-day! A sudden glamour o’er his sight– A something vague, indefinite– An oft-recurring blur that blinds The printed meaning of the lines, And leaves the mind all dusk and dim In swimming darkness–strange to him! It is not childishness, I guess,– Yet something […]

The Old Band

Story type: Poetry

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It’s mighty good to git back to the old town, shore, Considerin’ I’ve be’n away twenty year and more. Sence I moved then to Kansas, of course I see a change, A-comin’ back, and notice things that’s new to me and strange; Especially at evening when yer new band-fellers meet, In fancy uniforms and all, […]

Ah, friend of mine, how goes it Since you’ve taken you a mate?– Your smile, though, plainly shows it Is a very happy state! Dan Cupid’s necromancy! You must sit you down and dine, And lubricate your fancy With a glass or two of wine. And as you have “deserted,” As my other chums have […]

In the heart of June, love, You and I together, On from dawn till noon, love, Laughing with the weather; Blending both our souls, love, In the selfsame tune, Drinking all life holds, love, In the heart of June. In the heart of June, love, With its golden weather, Underneath the moon, love, You and […]

Old man never had much to say– ‘Ceptin’ to Jim,– And Jim was the wildest boy he had– And the old man jes’ wrapped up in him! Never heerd him speak but once Er twice in my life,–and first time was When the army broke out, and Jim he went, The old man backin’ him, […]

The Old Man

Story type: Poetry

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Lo! steadfast and serene, In patient pause between The seen and the unseen, What gentle zephyrs fan Your silken silver hair,– And what diviner air Breathes round you like a prayer, Old Man? Can you, in nearer view Of Glory, pierce the blue Of happy Heaven through; And, listening mutely, can Your senses, dull to […]

O Printerman of sallow face, And look of absent guile, Is it the ‘copy’ on your ‘case’ That causes you to smile? Or is it some old treasure scrap You call from Memory’s file? “I fain would guess its mystery– For often I can trace A fellow dreamer’s history Whene’er it haunts the face; Your […]

Scotty

Story type: Poetry

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Scotty’s dead–Of course he is! Jes’ that same old luck of his!– Ever sence we went cahoots He’s be’n first, you bet yer boots! When our schoolin’ first begun, Got two whippin’s to my one: Stold and smoked the first cigar: Stood up first before the bar, Takin’ whisky-straight–and me Wastin’ time on “blackberry”! Beat […]

James B. Maynard

Story type: Poetry

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His daily, nightly task is o’er– He leans above his desk no more. His pencil and his pen say not One further word of gracious thought. All silent is his voice, yet clear For all a grateful world to hear; He poured abroad his human love In opulence unmeasured of– While, in return, his meek […]

I’ be’n down to the Capital at Washington, D. C., Where Congerss meets and passes on the pensions ort to be Allowed to old one-legged chaps, like me, ‘at sence the war Don’t wear their pants in pairs at all–and yit how proud we are! Old Flukens, from our deestrick, jes’ turned in and tuck […]

Old Chums

Story type: Poetry

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“If I die first,” my old chum paused to say, “Mind! not a whimper of regret:–instead, Laugh and be glad, as I shall.–Being dead, I shall not lodge so very far away But that our mirth shall mingle.–So, the day The word comes, joy with me.” “I’ll try,” I said, Though, even speaking, sighed and […]

My Bachelor Chum

Story type: Poetry

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A corpulent man is my bachelor chum, With a neck apoplectic and thick– An abdomen on him as big as a drum, And a fist big enough for the stick; With a walk that for grace is clear out of the case, And a wobble uncertain–as though His little bow-legs had forgotten the pace That […]

Art And Poetry

Story type: Poetry

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TO HOMER DAVENPORT Wess he says, and sort o’ grins, “Art and Poetry is twins! “Yit, if I’d my pick, I’d shake Poetry, and no mistake! “Pictures, allus, ‘peared to me, Clean laid over Poetry! “Let me draw, and then, i jings, I’ll not keer a straw who sings. “‘F I could draw as you […]

When we three meet? Ah! friend of mine Whose verses well and flow as wine,– My thirsting fancy thou dost fill With draughts delicious, sweeter still Since tasted by those lips of thine. I pledge thee, through the chill sunshine Of autumn, with a warmth divine, Thrilled through as only I shall thrill When we […]

Tom Van Arden

Story type: Poetry

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Tom Van Arden, my old friend, Our warm fellowship is one Far too old to comprehend Where its bond was first begun: Mirage-like before my gaze Gleams a land of other days, Where two truant boys, astray, Dream their lazy lives away. There’s a vision, in the guise Of Midsummer, where the Past Like a […]

O it’s good to ketch a relative ‘at’s richer and don’t run When you holler out to hold up, and’ll joke and have his fun; It’s good to hear a man called bad and then find out he’s not, Er strike some chap they call lukewarm ‘at’s really red-hot; It’s good to know the Devil’s […]

How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood That now but in mem’ry I sadly review; The old meeting-house at the edge of the wildwood, The rail fence, and horses all tethered thereto; The low, sloping roof, and the bell in the steeple, The doves that came fluttering out overhead As it […]

Tommy Smith

Story type: Poetry

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Dimple-cheeked and rosy-lipped, With his cap-rim backward tipped, Still in fancy I can see Little Tommy smile on me– Little Tommy Smith. Little unsung Tommy Smith– Scarce a name to rhyme it with; Yet most tenderly to me Something sings unceasingly– Little Tommy Smith. On the verge of some far land Still forever does he […]

The past is like a story I have listened to in dreams That vanished in the glory Of the Morning’s early gleams; And–at my shadow glancing– I feel a loss of strength, As the Day of Life advancing Leaves it shorn of half its length. But it’s all in vain to worry At the rapid […]

Say good-by er howdy-do– What’s the odds betwixt the two? Comin’–goin’, ev’ry day– Best friends first to go away– Grasp of hands you’d ruther hold Than their weight in solid gold Slips their grip while greetin’ you.– Say good-by er howdy-do! Howdy-do, and then, good-by– Mixes jes’ like laugh and cry; Deaths and births, and […]

Friend of a wayward hour, you came Like some good ghost, and went the same; And I within the haunted place Sit smiling on your vanished face, And talking with–your name. But thrice the pressure of your hand– First hail–congratulations–and Your last “God bless you!” as the train That brought you snatched you back again […]

My Henry

Story type: Poetry

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He’s jes’ a great, big, awk’ard, hulkin’ Feller,–humped, and sort o’ sulkin’– Like, and ruther still-appearin’– Kind-as-ef he wuzn’t keerin’ Whether school helt out er not– That’s my Henry, to a dot! Allus kind o’ liked him–whether Childern, er growed-up together! Fifteen year’ ago and better, ‘Fore he ever knowed a letter, Run acrosst the […]

Marcellus, won’t you tell us– Truly tell us, if you can,– What will you be, Marcellus, When you get to be a man? You turn, with never answer But to the band that plays.– O rapt and eerie dancer, What of your future days? Far in the years before us We dreamers see your fame, […]

O were I not a clod, intent On being just an earthly thing, I’d be that rare embodiment Of Heart and Spirit, Voice and Wing, With pure, ecstatic, rapture-sent, Divinely-tender twittering That Echo swoons to re-present,– A bluebird in the Spring.

Be our fortunes as they may, Touched with loss or sorrow, Saddest eyes that weep to-day May be glad to-morrow. Yesterday the rain was here, And the winds were blowing– Sky and earth and atmosphere Brimmed and overflowing. But to-day the sun is out, And the drear November We were then so vexed about Now […]

Kindly and warm and tender, He nestled each childish palm So close in his own that his touch was a prayer And his speech a blessed psalm. He has turned from the marvelous pages Of many an alien tome– Haply come down from Olivet, Or out from the gates of Rome– Set sail o’er the […]

A Hobo Voluntary

Story type: Poetry

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Oh, the hobo’s life is a roving life; It robs pretty maids of their heart’s delight– It causes them to weep and it causes them to mourn For the life of a hobo, never to return. The hobo’s heart it is light and free, Though it’s Sweethearts all, farewell, to thee!– Farewell to thee, for […]

I Smoke My Pipe

Story type: Poetry

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I can’t extend to every friend In need a helping hand– No matter though I wish it so, ‘Tis not as Fortune planned; But haply may I fancy they Are men of different stripe Than others think who hint and wink,– And so–I smoke my pipe! A golden coal to crown the bowl– My pipe […]

Back From Town

Story type: Poetry

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Old friends allus is the best, Halest-like and heartiest: Knowed us first, and don’t allow We’re so blame much better now! They was standin’ at the bars When we grabbed “the kivvered kyars” And lit out fer town, to make Money–and that old mistake! We thought then the world we went Into beat “The Settlement,” […]

The bookman he’s a humming-bird– His feasts are honey-fine,– (With hi! hilloo! And clover-dew And roses lush and rare!) His roses are the phrase and word Of olden tomes divine; (With hi! and ho! And pinks ablow And posies everywhere!) The Bookman he’s a humming-bird,– He steals from song to song– He scents the ripest-blooming […]

The Bumblebee

Story type: Poetry

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You better not fool with a Bumblebee!– Ef you don’t think they can sting–you’ll see! They’re lazy to look at, an’ kindo’ go Buzzin’ an’ bummin’ aroun’ so slow, An’ ac’ so slouchy an’ all fagged out, Danglin’ their legs as they drone about The hollyhawks ‘at they can’t climb in ‘Ithout ist a-tumble-un out […]

The Days Gone By

Story type: Poetry

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O the days gone by! O the days gone by! The apples in the orchard, and the pathway through the rye; The chirrup of the robin, and the whistle of the quail As he piped across the meadows sweet as any nightingale; When the bloom was on the clover, and the blue was in the […]

One time, when we’z at Aunty’s house– ‘Way in the country!–where They’s ist but woods–an’ pigs, an’ cows– An’ all’s out-doors an’ air!– An’ orchurd-swing; an’ churry-trees– An’ churries in ’em!–Yes, an’ these– Here red-head birds steals all they please, An’ tetch ’em ef you dare!– W’y, wunst, one time, when we wuz there, We […]

Noon-time an’ June-time, down around the river! Have to furse with ‘Lizey Ann–but lawzy! I fergive her! Drives me off the place, an’ says ‘at all ‘at she’s a-wishin’, Land o’ gracious! time’ll come I’ll git enough o’ fishin’! Little Dave, a-choppin’ wood, never ‘pears to notice; Don’t know where she’s hid his hat, er […]

Knightly Rider of the Knee Of Proud-prancing Unclery! Gaily mount, and wave the sign Of that mastery of thine. Pat thy steed and turn him free, Knightly Rider of the Knee! Sit thy charger as a throne– Lash him with thy laugh alone: Sting him only with the spur Of such wit as may occur, […]

Curly Locks

Story type: Poetry

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Curly Locks! Curly Locks! wilt thou be mine? Thou shalt not wash the dishes, nor yet feed the swine,– But sit on a cushion and sew a fine seam, And feast upon strawberries, sugar and cream. Curly Locks! Curly Locks! wilt thou be mine? The throb of my heart is in every line, And the […]

Romancin’

Story type: Poetry

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I’ b’en a-kindo’ “musin’,” as the feller says, and I’m About o’ the conclusion that they hain’t no better time, When you come to cipher on it, than the times we ust to know When we swore our first “dog-gone-it” sorto’ solum-like and low! You git my idy, do you?–LITTLE tads, you understand– Jest a-wishin’ […]

I have jest about decided It ‘ud keep a town-boy hoppin’ Fer to work all winter, choppin’ Fer a’ old fireplace, like I did! Lawz! them old times wuz contrairy!– Blame’ backbone o’ winter, ‘peared-like WOULDN’T break!–and I wuz skeered-like Clean on into FEB’UARY! Nothin’ ever made me madder Than fer Pap to stomp in, […]

The Raggedy Man

Story type: Poetry

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O The Raggedy Man! He works fer Pa; An’ he’s the goodest man ever you saw! He comes to our house every day, An’ waters the horses, an’ feeds ’em hay; An’ he opens the shed–an’ we all ist laugh When he drives out our little old wobble-ly calf; An’ nen–ef our hired girl says […]

I In the jolly winters Of the long-ago, It was not so cold as now– O! No! No! Then, as I remember, Snowballs to eat Were as good as apples now. And every bit as sweet! II In the jolly winters Of the dead-and-gone, Bub was warm as summer, With his red mitts on,– Just […]

The Tree-Toad

Story type: Poetry

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“‘S cur’ous-like,” said the tree-toad, “I’ve twittered fer rain all day; And I got up soon, And hollered tel noon– But the sun, hit blazed away, Tell I jest clumb down in a crawfish-hole, Weary at hart, and sick at soul! “Dozed away fer an hour, And I tackled the thing agin: And I sung, […]

June [sonnet]

Story type: Poetry

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O queenly month of indolent repose! I drink thy breath in sips of rare perfume, As in thy downy lap of clover-bloom I nestle like a drowsy child and doze The lazy hours away. The zephyr throws The shifting shuttle of the Summer’s loom And weaves a damask-work of gleam and gloom Before thy listless […]

A Country Pathway

Story type: Poetry

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I come upon it suddenly, alone– A little pathway winding in the weeds That fringe the roadside; and with dreams my own, I wander as it leads. Full wistfully along the slender way, Through summer tan of freckled shade and shine, I take the path that leads me as it may– Its every choice is […]

They ain’t no style about ’em, And they’re sorto’ pale and faded, Yit the doorway here, without ’em, Would be lonesomer, and shaded With a good ‘eal blacker shadder Than the morning-glories makes, And the sunshine would look sadder Fer their good old-fashion’ sakes, I like ’em ’cause they kindo’– Sorto’ MAKE a feller like […]

Up and down old Brandywine, In the days ‘at’s past and gone– With a dad-burn hook-and line And a saplin’ pole–swawn! I’ve had more fun, to the square Inch, than ever ANYwhere! Heaven to come can’t discount MINE Up and down old Brandywine! Hain’t no sense in WISHIN’–yit Wisht to goodness I COULD jes “Gee” […]

Wortermelon Time

Story type: Poetry

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Old wortermelon time is a-comin’ round again, And they ain’t no man a-livin’ any tickleder’n me, Fer the way I hanker after wortermelons is a sin– Which is the why and wharefore, as you can plainly see. Oh! it’s in the sandy soil wortermelons does the best, And it’s thare they’ll lay and waller in […]

When country roads begin to thaw In mottled spots of damp and dust, And fences by the margin draw Along the frosty crust Their graphic silhouettes, I say, The Spring is coming round this way. When morning-time is bright with sun And keen with wind, and both confuse The dancing, glancing eyes of one With […]

Oh! tell me a tale of the airly days– Of the times as they ust to be; “Piller of Fi-er” and “Shakespeare’s Plays” Is a’ most too deep fer me! I want plane facts, and I want plane words, Of the good old-fashioned ways, When speech run free as the songs of birds ‘Way back […]

Pap’s got his pattent-right, and rich as all creation; But where’s the peace and comfort that we all had before? Le’s go a-visitin’ back to Griggsby’s Station– Back where we ust to be so happy and so pore! The likes of us a-livin’ here! It’s jest a mortal pity To see us in this great […]

The old farm-home is Mother’s yet and mine, And filled it is with plenty and to spare,– But we are lonely here in life’s decline, Though fortune smiles around us everywhere: We look across the gold Of the harvests, as of old– The corn, the fragrant clover, and the hay But most we turn our […]

Folks has be’n to town, and Sahry Fetched ‘er home a pet canary,– And of all the blame’, contrary, Aggervatin’ things alive! I love music–that’s I love it When it’s free–and plenty of it;– But I kindo’ git above it, At a dollar-eighty-five! Reason’s plain as I’m a–sayin’,– Jes’ the idy, now, o’ layin’ Out […]

Knee-Deep In June

Story type: Poetry

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I Tell you what I like the best– ‘Long about knee-deep in June, ‘Bout the time strawberries melts On the vine,–some afternoon Like to jes’ git out and rest, And not work at nothin’ else’ II Orchard’s where I’d ruther be– Needn’t fence it in fer me!– Jes’ the whole sky overhead, And the whole […]

The Clover

Story type: Poetry

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Some sings of the lily, and daisy, and rose, And the pansies and pinks that the Summertime throws In the green grassy lap of the medder that lays Blinkin’ up at the skyes through the sunshiney days; But what is the lily and all of the rest Of the flowers, to a man with a […]

September Dark

Story type: Poetry

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I The air falls chill; The whippoorwill Pipes lonesomely behind the hill: The dusk grows dense, The silence tense; And lo, the katydids commence. II Through shadowy rifts Of woodland, lifts The low, slow moon, and upward drifts, While left and right The fireflies’ light Swirls eddying in the skirts of Night. III O Cloudland, […]

Old October

Story type: Poetry

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Old October’s purt’ nigh gone, And the frosts is comin’ on Little HEAVIER every day– Like our hearts is thataway! Leaves is changin’ overhead Back from green to gray and red, Brown and yeller, with their stems Loosenin’ on the oaks and e’ms; And the balance of the trees Gittin’ balder every breeze– Like the […]

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock, And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock, And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens, And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence; O, it’s then’s the times a feller is a-feelin’ […]

In Spring, when the green gits back in the trees, And the sun comes out and STAYS, And yer boots pulls on with a good tight squeeze, And you think of yer bare-foot days; When you ORT to work and you want to NOT, And you and yer wife agrees It’s time to spade up […]

The Brook-Song

Story type: Poetry

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Little brook! Little brook! You have such a happy look– Such a very merry manner, as you swerve and curve and crook– And your ripples, one and one, Reach each other’s hands and run Like laughing little children in the sun! Little brook, sing to me: Sing about a bumblebee That tumbled from a lily-bell […]

Wet-Weather Talk

Story type: Poetry

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It hain’t no use to grumble and complane; It’s jest as cheap and easy to rejoice.– When God sorts out the weather and sends rain, W’y, rain’s my choice. Men ginerly, to all intents– Although they’re apt to grumble some– Puts most theyr trust in Providence, And takes things as they come– That is, the […]

“Mylo Jones’s wife” was all I heerd, mighty near, last Fall– Visitun relations down T’other side of Morgantown! Mylo Jones’s wife she does This and that, and “those” and “thus”!– Can’t ‘bide babies in her sight– Ner no childern, day and night, Whoopin’ round the premises– NER NO NOTHIN’ ELSE, I guess! Mylo Jones’s wife […]

The summer winds is sniffin’ round the bloomin’ locus’ trees; And the clover in the pastur is a big day fer the bees, And they been a-swiggin’ honey, above board and on the sly, Tel they stutter in theyr buzzin’ and stagger as they fly. The flicker on the fence-rail ‘pears to jest spit on […]

Nobody on the old farm here but Mother, me and John, Except, of course, the extry he’p when harvest-time comes on,– And THEN, I want to say to you, we NEEDED he’p about, As you’d admit, ef you’d a-seen the way the crops turned out! A better quarter-section ner a richer soil warn’t found Than […]

It’s a mystery to see me–a man o’ fifty-four, Who’s lived a cross old bachelor fer thirty year’ and more– A-lookin’ glad and smilin’! And they’s none o’ you can say That you can guess the reason why I feel so good to-day! I must tell you all about it! But I’ll have to deviate […]

Blooms Of May

Story type: Poetry

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But yesterday!… O blooms of May, And summer roses–Where-away? O stars above, And lips of love And all the honeyed sweets thereof! O lad and lass And orchard-pass, And briered lane, and daisied grass! O gleam and gloom, And woodland bloom, And breezy breaths of all perfume!– No more for me Or mine shall be […]

I Has she forgotten? On this very May We were to meet here, with the birds and bees, As on that Sabbath, underneath the trees We strayed among the tombs, and stripped away The vines from these old granites, cold and gray– And yet indeed not grim enough were they To stay our kisses, smiles […]

Wilful we are in our infirmity Of childish questioning and discontent. Whate’er befalls us is divinely meant– Thou Truth the clearer for thy mystery! Make us to meet what is or is to be With fervid welcome, knowing it is sent To serve us in some way full excellent, Though we discern it all belatedly. […]

The orchard lands of Long Ago! O drowsy winds, awake, and blow The snowy blossoms back to me, And all the buds that used to be! Blow back along the grassy ways Of truant feet, and lift the haze Of happy summer from the trees That trail their tresses in the seas Of grain that […]

The deadnin’ and the thicket’s jes’ a b’ilin’ full o’ June, From the rattle o’ the cricket, to the yaller-hammer’s tune; And the catbird in the bottom and the sap-suck on the snag, Seems’s ef they cain’t–od-rot-’em!–jes’ do nothin’ else but brag! There’ music in the twitter o’ the bluebird and the jay, And that […]

“Where shall we land you, sweet?”–Swinburne. All listlessly we float Out seaward in the boat That beareth Love. Our sails of purest snow Bend to the blue below And to the blue above. Where shall we land? We drift upon a tide Shoreless on every side, Save where the eye Of Fancy sweeps far lands […]

A Variation

Story type: Poetry

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I am tired of this! Nothing else but loving! Nothing else but kiss and kiss, Coo, and turtle-doving! Can’t you change the order some? Hate me just a little–come! Lay aside your “dears,” “Darlings,” “kings,” and “princes!”– Call me knave, and dry your tears– Nothing in me winces,– Call me something low and base– Something […]

When Age Comes On

Story type: Poetry

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When Age comes on!– The deepening dusk is where the dawn Once glittered splendid, and the dew In honey-drips, from red rose-lips Was kissed away by me and you.– And now across the frosty lawn Black foot-prints trail, and Age comes on– And Age comes on! And biting wild-winds whistle through Our tattered hopes–and Age […]

A song of Long Ago: Sing it lightly–sing it low– Sing it softly–like the lisping of the lips we used to know When our baby-laughter spilled From the glad hearts ever filled With music blithe as robin ever trilled! Let the fragrant summer-breeze, And the leaves of locust-trees, And the apple-buds and blossoms, and the […]

The touches of her hands are like the fall Of velvet snowflakes; like the touch of down The peach just brushes ‘gainst the garden wall; The flossy fondlings of the thistle-wisp Caught in the crinkle of a leaf of brown The blighting frost hath turned from green to crisp. Soft as the falling of the […]

When Lide married him –w’y, she had to jes dee-fy The whole poppilation!–But she never bat’ an eye! Her parents begged, and threatened–she must give him up–that he Wuz jes “a common drunkard!”–And he wuz, appearantly.– Swore they’d chase him off the place Ef he ever showed his face– Long after she’d eloped with him […]

Last night–how deep the darkness was! And well I knew its depths, because I waded it from shore to shore, Thinking to reach the light no more. She would not even touch my hand.– The winds rose and the cedars fanned The moon out, and the stars fled back In heaven and hid–and all was […]

Her Hair [sonnet]

Story type: Poetry

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The beauty of her hair bewilders me– Pouring adown the brow, its cloven tide Swirling about the ears on either side And storming around the neck tumultuously: Or like the lights of old antiquity Through mullioned windows, in cathedrals wide, Spilled moltenly o’er figures deified In chastest marble, nude of drapery. And so I love […]

Suspense

Story type: Poetry

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A woman’s figure, on a ground of night Inlaid with sallow stars that dimly stare Down in the lonesome eyes, uplifted there As in vague hope some alien lance of light Might pierce their woe. The tears that blind her sight– The salt and bitter blood of her despair– Her hands toss back through torrents […]

Just the airiest, fairiest slip of a thing, With a Gainsborough hat, like a butterfly’s wing, Tilted up at one side with the jauntiest air, And a knot of red roses sown in under there Where the shadows are lost in her hair. Then a cameo face, carven in on a ground Of that shadowy […]

To Hear Her Sing

Story type: Poetry

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To hear her sing–to hear her sing– It is to hear the birds of Spring In dewy groves on blooming sprays Pour out their blithest roundelays. It is to hear the robin trill At morning, or the whippoorwill At dusk, when stars are blossoming To hear her sing–to hear her sing! To hear her sing–it […]

I crave, dear Lord, No boundless hoard Of gold and gear, Nor jewels fine, Nor lands, nor kine, Nor treasure-heaps of anything– Let but a little hut be mine Where at the hearthstone I may hear The cricket sing, And have the shine Of one glad woman’s eyes to make, For my poor sake, Our […]

Nothin’ To Say

Story type: Poetry

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Nothin’ to say, my daughter! Nothin’ at all to say! Gyrls that’s in love, I’ve noticed, ginerly has their way! Yer mother did, afore you, when her folks objected to me– Yit here I am, and here you air; and yer mother–where is she? You look lots like yer mother: Purty much same in size; […]

The Wife-Blessed

Story type: Poetry

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I In youth he wrought, with eyes ablur, Lorn-faced and long of hair– In youth–in youth he painted her A sister of the air– Could clasp her not, but felt the stir Of pinions everywhere. II She lured his gaze, in braver days, And tranced him sirenwise; And he did paint her, through a haze […]

Illileo

Story type: Poetry

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Illileo, the moonlight seemed lost across the vales– The stars but strewed the azure as an armor’s scattered scales; The airs of night were quiet as the breath of silken sails; And all your words were sweeter than the notes of nightingales. Illileo Legardi, in the garden there alone, With your figure carved of fervor, […]

Home At Night

Story type: Poetry

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When chirping crickets fainter cry, And pale stars blossom in the sky, And twilight’s gloom has dimmed the bloom And blurred the butterfly: When locust-blossoms fleck the walk, And up the tiger-lily stalk The glow-worm crawls and clings and falls And glimmers down the garden-walls: When buzzing things, with double wings Of crisp and raspish […]

My Mary

Story type: Poetry

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My Mary, O my Mary! The simmer-skies are blue; The dawnin’ brings the dazzle, An’ the gloamin’ brings the dew,– The mirk o’ nicht the glory O’ the moon, an’ kindles, too, The stars that shift aboon the lift.– But nae thing brings me you! Where is it, O my Mary, Ye are biding a’ […]

I When my dreams come true–when my dreams come true– Shall I lean from out my casement, in the starlight and the dew, To listen–smile and listen to the tinkle of the strings Of the sweet guitar my lover’s fingers fondle, as he sings? And as the nude moon slowly, slowly shoulders into view, Shall […]

I As one in sorrow looks upon The dead face of a loyal friend, By the dim light of New Year’s dawn I saw the Old Year end. Upon the pallid features lay The dear old smile–so warm and bright Ere thus its cheer had died away In ashes of delight. The hands that I […]

Her Waiting Face

Story type: Poetry

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In some strange place Of long-lost lands he finds her waiting face– Comes marveling upon it, unaware, Set moonwise in the midnight of her hair.

They meet to say farewell: Their way Of saying this is hard to say.– He holds her hand an instant, wholly Distressed–and she unclasps it slowly. He bends his gaze evasively Over the printed page that she Recurs to, with a new-moon shoulder Glimpsed from the lace-mists that enfold her. The clock, beneath its crystal […]

The Lost Path

Story type: Poetry

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Alone they walked–their fingers knit together, And swaying listlessly as might a swing Wherein Dan Cupid dangled in the weather Of some sun-flooded afternoon of Spring. Within the clover-fields the tickled cricket Laughed lightly as they loitered down the lane, And from the covert of the hazel-thicket The squirrel peeped and laughed at them again. […]

He And I

Story type: Poetry

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Just drifting on together– He and I– As through the balmy weather Of July Drift two thistle-tufts imbedded Each in each–by zephyrs wedded– Touring upward, giddy-headed, For the sky. And, veering up and onward, Do we seem Forever drifting dawnward In a dream, Where we meet song-birds that know us, And the winds their kisses […]

Judith

Story type: Poetry

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O her eyes are amber-fine– Dark and deep as wells of wine, While her smile is like the noon Splendor of a day of June. If she sorrow–lo! her face It is like a flowery space In bright meadows, overlaid With light clouds and lulled with shade. If she laugh–it is the trill Of the […]

O soul of mine, look out and see My bride, my bride that is to be! Reach out with mad, impatient hands, And draw aside futurity As one might draw a veil aside– And so unveil her where she stands Madonna-like and glorified– The queen of undiscovered lands Of love, to where she beckons me– […]

"Dream"

Story type: Poetry

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Because her eyes were far too deep And holy for a laugh to leap Across the brink where sorrow tried To drown within the amber tide; Because the looks, whose ripples kissed The trembling lids through tender mist, Were dazzled with a radiant gleam– Because of this I called her “Dream.” Because the roses growing […]

He Called Her In

Story type: Poetry

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I He called her in from me and shut the door. And she so loved the sunshine and the sky!– She loved them even better yet than I That ne’er knew dearth of them–my mother dead, Nature had nursed me in her lap instead: And I had grown a dark and eerie child That rarely […]

Her Face And Brow

Story type: Poetry

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Ah, help me! but her face and brow Are lovelier than lilies are Beneath the light of moon and star That smile as they are smiling now– White lilies in a pallid swoon Of sweetest white beneath the moon– White lilies, in a flood of bright Pure lucidness of liquid light Cascading down some plenilune, […]

O her beautiful eyes! they are blue as the dew On the violet’s bloom when the morning is new, And the light of their love is the gleam of the sun O’er the meadows of Spring where the quick shadows run As the morn shifts the mists and the clouds from the skies– So I […]

When she comes home again! A thousand ways I fashion, to myself, the tenderness Of my glad welcome: I shall tremble–yes; And touch her, as when first in the old days I touched her girlish hand, nor dared upraise Mine eyes, such was my faint heart’s sweet distress. Then silence: And the perfume of her […]

Let Us Forget

Story type: Poetry

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Let us forget. What matters it that we Once reigned o’er happy realms of long-ago, And talked of love, and let our voices low, And ruled for some brief sessions royally? What if we sung, or laughed, or wept maybe? It has availed not anything, and so Let it go by that we may better […]

Leonainie

Story type: Poetry

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Leonainie–Angels named her; And they took the light Of the laughing stars and framed her In a smile of white; And they made her hair of gloomy Midnight, and her eyes of bloomy Moonshine, and they brought her to me In the solemn night.— In a solemn night of summer, When my heart of gloom […]

As one who cons at evening o’er an album all alone, And muses on the faces of the friends that he has known, So I turn the leaves of fancy till, in shadowy design, I find the smiling features of an old sweetheart of mine. The lamplight seems to glimmer with a flicker of surprise, […]

I’m bin a-visitun ’bout a week To my little Cousin’s at Nameless Creek, An’ I’m got the hives an’ a new straw hat, An’ I’m come back home where my beau lives at.

It’s the curiousest thing in creation, Whenever I hear that old song “Do They Miss Me at Home,” I’m so bothered, My life seems as short as it’s long!– Fer ev’rything ‘pears like adzackly It ‘peared in the years past and gone,– When I started out sparkin’, at twenty, And had my first neckercher on! […]

O Touch me with your hands– For pity’s sake! My brow throbs ever on with such an ache As only your cool touch may take away; And so, I pray You, touch me with your hands! Touch–touch me with your hands.– Smooth back the hair You once caressed, and kissed, and called so fair That […]

How tired I am! I sink down all alone Here by the wayside of the Present. Lo, Even as a child I hide my face and moan– A little girl that may no farther go; The path above me only seems to grow More rugged, climbing still, and ever briered With keener thorns of pain […]

What is it in old fiddle-chunes ‘at makes me ketch my breath And ripples up my backbone tel I’m tickled most to death?– Kindo’ like that sweet-sick feelin’, in the long sweep of a swing, The first you ever swung in, with yer first sweet-heart, i jing!– Yer first picnic–yer first ice-cream–yer first o’ ever’thing […]

O your hands–they are strangely fair! Fair–for the jewels that sparkle there,– Fair–for the witchery of the spell That ivory keys alone can tell; But when their delicate touches rest Here in my own do I love them best, As I clasp with eager acquisitive spans My glorious treasure of beautiful hands! Marvelous–wonderful–beautiful hands! They […]

Pap he allus ust to say, “Chris’mus comes but onc’t a year!” Liked to hear him that-a-way, In his old split-bottomed cheer By the fireplace here at night– Wood all in,–and room all bright, Warm and snug, and folks all here: “Chris’mus comes but onc’t a year!” Me and ‘Lize, and Warr’n and Jess And […]

To The Judge

Story type: Poetry

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A Voice From the Interior of Old Hoop-Pole Township Friend of my earliest youth, Can’t you arrange to come down And visit a fellow out here in the woods– Out of the dust of the town? Can’t you forget you’re a Judge And put by your dolorous frown And tan your wan face in the […]

Ho! I’m going back to where We were youngsters.–Meet me there, Dear old barefoot chum, and we Will be as we used to be,– Lawless rangers up and down The old creek beyond the town– Little sunburnt gods at play, Just as in that far-away:– Water nymphs, all unafraid, Shall smile at us from the […]

John Mckeen

Story type: Poetry

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John McKeen, in his rusty dress, His loosened collar, and swarthy throat; His face unshaven, and none the less, His hearty laugh and his wholesomeness, And the wealth of a workman’s vote! Bring him, O Memory, here once more, And tilt him back in his Windsor chair By the kitchen-stove, when the day is o’er […]

The Old Guitar

Story type: Poetry

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Neglected now is the old guitar And moldering into decay; Fretted with many a rift and scar That the dull dust hides away, While the spider spins a silver star In its silent lips to-day. The keys hold only nerveless strings– The sinews of brave old airs Are pulseless now; and the scarf that clings […]

Where do you go when you go to sleep, Little Boy! Little Boy! where? ‘Way–‘way in where’s Little Bo-Peep, And Little Boy Blue, and the Cows and Sheep A-wandering ‘way in there;–in there– A-wandering ‘way in there! And what do you see when lost in dreams, Little Boy, ‘way in there? Firefly-glimmers and glowworm-gleams, And […]

Fer forty year and better you have been a friend to me, Through days of sore afflictions and dire adversity, You allus had a kind word of counsul to impart, Which was like a healin’ ‘intment to the sorrow of my hart. When I burried my first womern, William Leachman, it was you Had the […]

The Rainy Morning

Story type: Poetry

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The dawn of the day was dreary, And the lowering clouds o’erhead Wept in a silent sorrow Where the sweet sunshine lay dead; And a wind came out of the eastward Like an endless sigh of pain, And the leaves fell down in the pathway And writhed in the falling rain. I had tried in […]

A Backward Look

Story type: Poetry

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As I sat smoking, alone, yesterday, And lazily leaning back in my chair, Enjoying myself in a general way– Allowing my thoughts a holiday From weariness, toil and care,– My fancies–doubtless, for ventilation– Left ajar the gates of my mind,– And Memory, seeing the situation, Slipped out in street of “Auld Lang Syne.” Wandering ever […]

Joney

Story type: Poetry

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Had a hare-lip– Joney had:Spiled his looks, and Joney knowed it:Fellers tried to bore him, bad–But ef ever he got mad,He kep’ still and never showed it.‘Druther have his mouth all poutedAnd split up, and like it wuz,Than the ones ‘at laughed about it.Purty is as purty does! Had to listen ruther clos’t‘Fore you knowed […]

“Uncle Jake’s Place,” St. Jo, Mo., 1874 “I was born in Indiany,” says a stranger, lank and slim,As us fellers in the restarunt was kindo’ guyin’ him,And Uncle Jake was slidin’ him another punkin pieAnd a’ extry cup o’ coffee, with a twinkle in his eye.“I was born in Indiany– more’n forty year’ ago–I hain’t […]

The Train Misser

Story type: Poetry

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At Union Station ‘Ll where in the world my eyes has bin–Ef I hain’t missed that train ag’in!Chuff! And whistle! And toot! And ring!But blast and blister the dasted train–!How it does it I can’t explain!Git here thirty-five minutes beforeThe durn things due–! And, drat the thingIt’ll manage to git past-shore! The more I travel […]

Granny

Story type: Poetry

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Granny’s come to our house,And ho! My lawzy-daisy!All the childern round the placeIs ist a-runnin’ crazy!Fetched a cake fer little Jake,And fetched a pie fer Nanny,And fetched a pear fer all the packThat runs to kiss their Granny! Lucy Ellen’s in her lap,And Wade and Silas WalkerBoth’s a ridin’ on her foot,And ‘Pollos on the […]

He faced his canvas (as a seer whose kenPierces the crust of this existence through)And smiled beyond on that his genius knewEre mated with his being. Conscious thenOf his high theme alone, he smiled againStraight back upon himself in many a hueAnd tint, and light and shade, which slowly grewEnfeatured of a fair girl’s face, […]

To Robert Burns

Story type: Poetry

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Sweet Singer that I loe the maistO’ ony, sin’ wi’ eager hasteI smacket bairn-lips ower the tasteO’ hinnied sang,I hail thee, though a blessed ghaistIn Heaven lang! For weel I ken, nae cantie phrase,Nor courtly airs, nor lairdly ways,Could gar me freer blame, or praise,Or proffer hand,Where “Rantin’ Robbie” and his laysThegither stand. And sae […]

Indiana [sonnet]

Story type: Poetry

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Our Land– our Home– the common home indeedOf soil-born children and adopted ones–The stately daughters and the stalwart sonsOf Industry–: All greeting and godspeed!O home to proudly live for, and if needBe proudly die for, with the roar of gunsBlent with our latest prayer–. So died men once…Lo Peace…! As we look on the land […]

Time [sonnet]

Story type: Poetry

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1The ticking– ticking– ticking of the clock–!That vexed me so last night–! “For though Time keepsSuch drowsy watch,” I moaned, “he never sleeps,But only nods above the world to mockIts restless occupant, then rudely rockIt as the cradle of a babe that weeps!”I seemed to see the seconds piled in heapsLike sand about me; and […]

Settin’ round the stove, last night,Down at Wess’s store, was meAnd Mart Strimples, Tunk, and White,And Doc Bills, and two er threeFellers o’ the Mudsock tribeNo use tryin’ to describe!And says Doc, he says, says he–,“Talkin’ ’bout good things to eat,Ripe mushmillon’s hard to beat!” I chawed on. And Mart he ‘lowedWortermillon beat the mush–.“Red,” […]

Kingry’s Mill

Story type: Poetry

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On old Brandywine– aboutWhere White’s Lots is now laid out,And the old crick narries downTo the ditch that splits the town–,Kingry’s Mill stood. Hardly seeWhere the old dam ust to be;Shallor, long, dry trought o’ grassWhere the old race ust to pass! That’s be’n forty years ago–Forty years o’ frost and snow–Forty years o’ shade […]

Silence [sonnet]

Story type: Poetry

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Thousands of thousands of hushed years ago,Out on the edge of Chaos, all aloneI stood on peaks of vapor, high upthrownAbove a sea that knew nor ebb nor flow,Nor any motion won of winds that blow,Nor any sound of watery wail or moan,Nor lisp of wave, nor wandering undertoneOf any tide lost in the night […]

Sleep [sonnet]

Story type: Poetry

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Thou drowsy god, whose blurred eyes, half awinkMuse on me–, drifting out upon thy dreams,I lave my soul as in enchanted streamsWhere revelling satyrs pipe along the brink,And tipsy with the melody they drink,Uplift their dangling hooves, and down the beamsOf sunshine dance like motes. Thy languor seemsAn ocean-depth of love wherein I sinkLike some […]

Grant

Story type: Poetry

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At Rest– August 8, 1885 Sir Launcelot rode overthwart and endlong in a wide forest, and held no path but as wild adventure led him… And he returned and came again to his horse, and took off his saddle and his bridle, and let him pasture; and unlaced his helm, and ungirdled his sword, and […]

Dearth [sonnet]

Story type: Poetry

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I hold your trembling hand to-night– and yetI may not know what wealth of bliss is mine,My heart is such a curious designOf trust and jealousy! Your eyes are wet–So must I think they jewel some regret–,And lo, the loving arms that round me twineCling only as the tendrils of a vineWhose fruit has long […]

It is my dream to have you here with me,Out of the heated city’s dust and din–Here where the colts have room to gambol in,And kine to graze, in clover to the knee.I want to see your wan face happilyLit with the wholesome smiles that have not beenIn use since the old games you used […]

Back from a two-years’ sentence!And though it had been ten,You think, I were scarred no deeperIn the eyes of my fellow-men.“My fellow-men–?” Sounds like a satire,You think– and I so allow,Here in my home since childhood,Yet more than a stranger now! Pardon–! Not wholly a stranger–,For I have a wife and child:That woman has wept […]

The midnight is not more bewilderingTo her drowsed eyes, than to her ears, the soundOf dim, sweet singing voices, interwoundWith purl of flute and subtle twang of string,Strained through the lattice, where the roses clingAnd, with their fragrance, waft the notes aroundHer haunted senses. Thirsting beyond boundOf her slow-yielding dreams, the lilt and swingOf the […]

Becalmed

Story type: Poetry

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1Would that the winds might only blowAs they blew in the golden long ago–!Laden with odors of Orient islesWhere ever and ever the sunshine smiles,And the bright sands blend with the shady trees,And the lotus blooms in the midst of these. 2Warm winds won from the midland valesTo where the tress of the Siren trailsO’er […]

To Santa Claus

Story type: Poetry

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Most tangible of all the gods that be,O Santa Claus– our own since Infancy!As first we scampered to thee– now, as then,Take us as children to thy heart again. Be wholly good to us, just as of old:As a pleased father, let thine arms infoldUs, homed within the haven of thy love,And all the cheer […]

A Pan [Sonnet]

Story type: Poetry

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This Pan is but an idle god, I guess,Since all the fair midsummer of my dreamsHe loiters listlessly by woody streams,Soaking the lush glooms up with laziness;Or drowsing while the maiden-winds caressHim prankishly, and powder him with gleamsOf sifted sunshine. And he ever seemsDrugged with a joy unutterable– unlessHis low pipes whistle hints of it […]

Dusk [sonnet]

Story type: Poetry

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The frightened herds of clouds across the skyTrample the sunshine down, and chase the dayInto the dusky forest-lands of grayAnd sombre twilight. Far and faint, and high,The wild goose trails his harrow, with a crySad as the wail of some poor castawayWho sees a vessel drifting far astrayOf his last hope, and lays him down […]

A Life Lesson

Story type: Poetry

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There! Little girl; don’t cry!They have broken your doll, I know;And your tea-set blue,And your play-house too,Are things of the long ago;But childish troubles will soon pass by–.There! Little girl; don’t cry! There! Little girl; don’t cry!They have broken your slate, I know;And the glad, wild waysOf your school-girl daysAre things of the long ago;But […]

A thing ‘at’s ’bout as tryin’ as a healthy man kin meetIs some poor feller’s funeral a-joggin’ ‘long the street:The slow hearse and the hosses– slow enough, to say at least,Fer to even tax the patience of gentleman deceased!The low scrunch of the gravel– and the slow grind of the wheels–,The slow, slow go of […]

A Away

Story type: Poetry

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I cannot say, and I will not sayThat he is dead–. He is just away! With a cheery smile, and a wave of the handHe has wandered into an unknown land, And left us dreaming how very fairIt needs must be, since he lingers there. And you– O you, who the wildest yearnFor the old-time […]

A troth, and a grief, and a blessing,Disguised them and came this way–,And one was a promise, and one was a doubt,And one was a rainy day. And they met betimes with this maiden,And the promise it spake and lied,And the doubt it gibbered and hugged itself,And the rainy day– she died.

The Ripest Peach

Story type: Poetry

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The ripest peach is highest on the tree–And so her love, beyond the reach of me,Is dearest in my sight. Sweet breezes bowHer heart down to me where I worship now! She looms aloft where every eye may seeThe ripest peach is highest on the tree.Such fruitage as her love I know, alas!I may not […]

A Bride

Story type: Poetry

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“O I am weary!” she sighed, as her billowyHair she unloosed in a torrent of goldThat rippled and fell o’er a figure as willowy,Graceful and fair as a goddess of old:Over her jewels she flung herself drearily,Crumpled the laces that snowed on her breast,Crushed with her fingers the lily that wearilyClung in her hair like […]

A Fruit Piece

Story type: Poetry

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The afternoon of summer foldsIts warm arms round the marigolds, And with its gleaming fingers, petsThe watered pinks and violets That from the casement vases spill,Over the cottage window-sill, Their fragrance down the garden walksWhere droop the dry-mouthed hollyhocks. How vividly the sunshine scrawlsThe grape-vine shadows on the walls! How like a truant swings the […]

A Song

Story type: Poetry

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There is ever a song somewhere, my dear;There is ever a something sings alway:There’s the song of the lark when the skies are clear,And the song of the thrush when the skies are gray.The sunshine showers across the grain,And the bluebird trills in the orchard tree;And in and out, when the eaves dip rain,The swallows […]

When Bessie Died

Story type: Poetry

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If from your own the dimpled hands had slipped,And ne’er would nestle in your palm again;If the white feet into the grave had tripped–“ When Bessie died–We braided the brown hair, and tiedIt just as her own little handsHad fastened back the silken strandsA thousand times– the crimson bitOf ribbon woven into itThat she had […]

The Harper

Story type: Poetry

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Like a drift of faded blossomsCaught in a slanting rain,His fingers glimpsed down the strings of his harpIn a tremulous refrain: Patter and tinkle, and drip and drip!Ah! But the chords were rainy sweet!And I closed my eyes and I bit my lip,As he played there in the street. Patter, and drip, and tinkle!And there […]

The Shower

Story type: Poetry

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The landscape, like the awed face of a child,Grew curiously blurred; a hush of deathFell on the fields, and in the darkened wildThe zephyr held its breath. No wavering glamour-work of light and shadeDappled the shivering surface of the brook;The frightened ripples in their ambuscadeOf willows thrilled and shook. The sullen day grew darker, and […]

If I knew what poets know,Would I write a rhymeOf the buds that never blowIn the summer-time ?Would I sing of golden seedsSpringing up in ironweeds?And of raindrops turned to snow,If I knew what poets know? Did I know what poets do,Would I sing a songSadder than the pigeon’s cooWhen the days are long?Where I […]

A Rough Sketch

Story type: Poetry

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I caught, for a second, across the crowd–Just for a second, and barely that–A face, pox-pitted and evil-browed,Hid in the shade of a slouch-rim’d hat–With small gray eyes, of a look as keenAs the long, sharp nose that grew between. And I said: ‘Tis a sketch of Nature’s own,Drawn i’ the dark o’ the moon, […]

O The South Wind and the Sun!How each loved the other oneFull of fancy— full folly–Full of jollity and fun!How they romped and ran about,Like two boys when school is out,With glowing face, and lisping lip,Low laugh, and lifted shout! And the South Wind– he was dressedWith a ribbon round his breastThat floated, flapped and […]

The Lost Kiss

Story type: Poetry

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I put by the half-written poem,While the pen, idly trailed in my hand,Writes on–, “Had I words to complete it,Who’d read it, or who’d understand?”But the little bare feet on the stairway,And the faint, smothered laugh in the hall,And the eerie-low lisp on the silence,Cry up to me over it all. So I gather it […]

Das Krist Kindel

Story type: Poetry

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I had fed the fire and stirred it, till the sparkles in delightSnapped their saucy little fingers at the chill December night;And in dressing-gown and slippers, I had tilted back “my throne–“The old split-bottomed rocker– and was musing all alone. I could hear the hungry Winter prowling round the outer door,And the tread of muffled […]

Anselmo

Story type: Poetry

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Years did I vainly seek the good Lord’s grace–,Prayed, fasted, and did penance dire and dread;Did kneel, with bleeding knees and rainy face,And mouth the dust, with ashes on my head;Yea, still with knotted scourge the flesh I flayed,Rent fresh the wounds, and moaned and shrieked insanely;And froth oozed with the pleadings that I made,And […]

Bud, come here to your uncle a spell,And I’ll tell you something you mustn’t tell–For it’s a secret and shore-‘nuf true,And maybe I oughtn’t to tell it to you–!But out in the garden, under the shadeOf the apple-trees, where we romped and playedTill the moon was up, and you thought I’d goneFast asleep–, That was […]

Where are they– the Afterwhiles–Luring us the lengthening milesOf our lives? Where is the dawnWith the dew across the lawnStroked with eager feet the farWay the hills and valleys are?Were the sun that smites the frownOf the eastward-gazer down?Where the rifted wreaths of mistO’er us, tinged with amethyst,Round the mountain’s steep defiles?Where are the afterwhiles? […]

The Beautiful City! ForeverIts rapturous praises resound;We fain would behold it– but neverA glimpse of its dory is found:We slacken our lips at the tenderWhite breasts of our mothers to hearOf its marvellous beauty and splendor–;We see– but the gleam of a tear! Yet never the story may tire us–First graven in symbols of stone–Rewritten […]

The Wandering Jew

Story type: Poetry

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The stars are failing, and the skyIs like a field of faded flowers;The winds on weary wings go by;The moon hides, and the temptest lowers;And still through every clime and ageI wander on a pilgrimageThat all men know an idle quest,For that the goal I seek is–REST! I hear the voice of summer streams,And, following, […]

Lockerbie Street

Story type: Poetry

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Such a dear little street it is, nestled awayFrom the noise of the city and heat of the day,In cool shady coverts of whispering trees,With their leaves lifted up to shake hands with the breezeWhich in all its wide wanderings never may meetWith a resting-place fairer than Lockerbie street! There is such a relief, from […]

The winds have talked with him confidingly;The trees have whispered to him; and the nightHath held him gently as a mother might,And taught him all sad tones of melody:The mountains have bowed to him; and the sea,In clamorous waves, and murmurs exquisite,Hath told him all her sorrow and delight–Her legends fair–her darkest mystery.His verse blooms […]

Wunst I looked our pepper-box lidAn’ cut little pie-dough biscuits, I did,And cooked ’em on our stove one dayWhen our hired girl she said I may. Honey’s the goodest thing–Oo-ooh!And blackberry-pies is goodest, too!But wite hot biscuits, ist soakin’-wetWiv tree-mullasus, is goodest yet! Miss Maimie she’s my Ma’s friend,–an’She’s purtiest girl in all the lan’!–An’ […]

Tugg Martin

Story type: Poetry

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I. Tugg Martin’s tough.–No doubt o’ that!And down there atThe town he come from word’s bin sentAdvisin’ this-here Settle-mentTo kindo’ humor Tugg, and notTo git him hot–Jest pass his imperfections by,And he’s as good as pie! II. They claim he’s wanted back there.–YitThe officers they mostly quitInsistin’ whenThey notice Tugg’s so back’ard, andSorto’ gives ’em […]

They called him Mr. What’s-his-name:From where he was, or why he came,Or when, or what he found to do,Nobody in the city knew. He lived, it seemed, shut up aloneIn a low hovel of his own;There cooked his meals and made his bed,Careless of all his neighbors said. His neighbors, too, said many thingsExpressive of […]

We got up a Christmas-doin’sLast Christmas Eve–Kindo’ dimonstration‘At I railly believeGive more satisfaction–Take it up and down–Than ary intertainmentEver come to town! Railly was a theater—That’s what it was,–But, bein’ in the church, you know,We had a “Santy Clause”—So ‘s to git the old folksTo patternize, you see,And back the institootion upKindo’ morally. Schoolteacher writ […]

By her white bed I muse a little space:She fell asleep–not very long ago,–And yet the grass was here and not the snow–The leaf, the bud, the blossom, and–her face!–Midsummer’s heaven above us, and the graceOf Lovers own day, from dawn to afterglow;The fireflies’ glimmering, and the sweet and lowPlaint of the whip-poor-wills, and every […]

“Rain and rain! and rain and rain!”Yesterday we mutteredGrimly as the grim refrainThat the thunders uttered:All the heavens under cloud–All the sunshine sleeping;All the grasses limply bowedWith their weight of weeping. Sigh and sigh! and sigh and sigh!Never end of sighing;Rain and rain for our reply–Hopes half-drowned and dying;Peering through the window-pane,Naught but endless raining–Endless […]

Blossoms crimson, white, or blue,Purple, pink, and every hue,From sunny skies, to tintings drownedIn dusky drops of dew,I praise you all, wherever found,And love you through and through;–But, Blossoms On The Trees,With your breath upon the breeze,There’s nothing all the world aroundAs half as sweet as you! Could the rhymer only wringAll the sweetness to […]

A Glimpse Of Pan

Story type: Poetry

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I caught but a glimpse of him. Summer was here,And I strayed from the town and its dust and heatAnd walked in a wood, while the noon was near,Where the shadows were cool, and the atmosphereWas misty with fragrances stirred by my feetFrom surges of blossoms that billowed sheerO’er the grasses, green and sweet. And […]

At Utter Loaf

Story type: Poetry

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I. An afternoon as ripe with heatAs might the golden pippin beWith mellowness if at my feetIt dropped now from the apple-treeMy hammock swings in lazily. II. The boughs about me spread a shadeThat shields me from the sun, but weavesWith breezy shuttles through the leavesBlue rifts of skies, to gleam and fadeUpon the eyes […]

A Lounger

Story type: Poetry

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He leant against a lamp-post, lostIn some mysterious reverie:His head was bowed; his arms were crossed;He yawned, and glanced evasively:Uncrossed his arms, and slowly putThem back again, and scratched his side–Shifted his weight from foot to foot,And gazed out no-ward, idle-eyed. Grotesque of form and face and dress,And picturesque in every way–A figure that from […]

I bear dis cross dis many a mile.O de cross-bearin’ chile–De cross-bearin’ chile! I bear dis cross ‘long many a roadWha’ de pink ain’t bloom’ an’ de grass done mowed.O de cross-bearin’ chile–De cross-bearin’ chile! Hits on my conscience all dese daysFo’ ter bear de cross ut de good Lord laysOn my po’ soul, an’ […]

Thanksgiving

Story type: Poetry

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Let us be thankful–not only becauseSince last our universal thanks were toldWe have grown greater in the world’s applause,And fortune’s newer smiles surpass the old– But thankful for all things that come as almsFrom out the open hand of Providence:–The winter clouds and storms—the summer calms–The sleepless dread–the drowse of indolence. Let us be thankful–thankful […]

The Twins

Story type: Poetry

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One ‘s the pictur’ of his Pa,And the other of her Ma–Jes the bossest pair o’ babies ‘at a mortal ever saw!And we love ’em as the beesLoves the blossoms of the trees,A-ridin’ and a-rompin’ in the breeze! One’s got her Mammy’s eyes–Soft and blue as Apurl-skies–With the same sort of a smile, like–Yes,and mouth […]

Bedouin

Story type: Poetry

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O love is like an untamed steed!–So hot of heart and wild of speed,And with fierce freedom so in love,The desert is not vast enough,With all its leagues of glimmering sands,To pasture it! Ah, that my handsWere more than human in their strength,That my deft lariat at lengthMight safely noose this splendid thingThat so defies […]

A TRAGI-COMEDY, IN ONE ACT. PERSONS REPRESENTED. BILLY MILLER ) The RivalsJOHNNY WILLIAMS ) TOMMY WELLS ConspiratorTIME–Noon: SCENE–Country Town–Rear-view of theMiller Mansion, showing Barn, with practical loft-windowopening on alley-way, with colored-crayon poster beneath,announcing:–“BILLY MILLER’S Big Show and Monstur Circusand Equareum! A shour-bath fer Each and All fer 20 pins.This Afternoon! Don’t fer git the date!” […]

Wintertime, er Summertime,Of late years I notice I’m,Kindo’-like, more subjec’ toWhat the weather is. Now, youFolks ‘at lives in town, I s’pose,Thinks its bully when it snows;But the chap ‘at chops and haulsYer wood fer ye, and then stalls,And snapps tuggs and swingletrees,And then has to walk er freeze,Haint so much “stuck on” the snowAs […]

Go, Winter!

Story type: Poetry

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Go, Winter! Go thy ways! We want againThe twitter of the bluebird and the wren;Leaves ever greener growing, and the shineOf Summer’s sun–not thine.– Thy sun, which mocks our need of warmth and loveAnd all the heartening fervencies thereof,It scarce hath heat enow to warm our thinPathetic yearnings in. So get thee from us! We […]

Elizabeth

Story type: Poetry

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May 1, 1891. I. Elizabeth! Elizabeth!The first May-morning whisperethThy gentle name in every breezeThat lispeth through the young-leaved trees,New raimented in white and greenOf bloom and leaf to crown thee queen;–And, as in odorous chorus, allThe orchard-blossoms sweetly callEven as a singing voice that saithElizabeth! Elizabeth! II. Elizabeth! Lo, lily-fair,In deep, cool shadows of thy […]

Dan Paine

Story type: Poetry

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Old friend of mine, whose chiming nameHas been the burthen of a rhymeWithin my heart since first I cameTo know thee in thy mellow prime;With warm emotions in my breastThat can but coldly be expressed,And hopes and wishes wild and vain,I reach my hand to thee, Dan Paine. In fancy, as I sit aloneIn gloomy […]

Get gone, thou most uncomfortable ghost!Thou really dost annoy me with thy thinImpalpable transparency of grin;And the vague, shadowy shape of thee almostHath vext me beyond boundary and coastOf my broad patience. Stay thy chattering chin,And reel the tauntings of thy vain tongue in,Nor tempt me further with thy vaporish boastThat I am helpless to […]

The Quarrel

Story type: Poetry

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They faced each other: Topaz-brownAnd lambent burnt her eyes and shotSharp flame at his of amethyst.–“I hate you! Go, and be forgotAs death forgets!” their glitter hissed(So seemed it) in their hatred. Ho!Dared any mortal front her so?–Tempestuous eyebrows knitted down–Tense nostril, mouth–no muscle slack,–And black–the suffocating black–The stifling blackness of her frown! Ah! but […]

The Hereafter

Story type: Poetry

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Hereafter! O we need not wasteOur smiles or tears, whatever befall:No happiness but holds a tasteOf something sweeter, after all;–No depth of agony but feelsSome fragment of abiding trust,–Whatever death unlocks or seals,The mute beyond is just.

John Brown

Story type: Poetry

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Writ in between the lines of his life-deedWe trace the sacred service of a heartAnswering the Divine command, in every partBearing on human weal: His love did feedThe loveless; and his gentle hands did leadThe blind, and lift the weak, and balm the smartOf other wounds than rankled at the dartIn his own breast, that […]

A Cup Of Tea

Story type: Poetry

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I have sipped, with drooping lashes,Dreamy draughts of Verzenay;I have flourished brandy-smashesIn the wildest sort of way;I have joked with “Tom and Jerry”Till wee hours ayont the twal’–But I’ve found my tea the verySafest tipple of them all! ‘Tis a mystical potationThat exceeds in warmth of glowAnd divine exhilarationAll the drugs of long ago–All of […]

Grand Haven is in Michigan, and in possession, too,Of as many rare attractions as our party ever knew:–The fine hotel, the landlord, and the lordly bill of fare,And the dainty-neat completeness of the pretty waiters there;The touch on the piano in the parlor, and the trillOf the exquisite soprano, in our fancy singing still;Our cozy […]

The Hoodoo

Story type: Poetry

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Owned a pair o’ skates onc’t.–TradedFer ’em,–stropped ’em on and wadedUp and down the crick, a-waitin’Tel she’d freeze up fit fer skatin’.Mildest winter I remember–More like Spring- than Winter-weather!–Did n’t frost tel bout December-Git up airly ketch a’ featherOf it, mayby, ‘crost the winder–Sunshine swinge it like a cinder! Well–I waited–and kep‘ waitin’!Couldn’t see my […]

Dot Leedle Boy

Story type: Poetry

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Ot’s a leedle Christmas storyDot I told der leedle folks–Und I vant you stop dot laughin’Und grackin’ funny jokes’–So-help me Peter-Moses!Ot’s no time for monkeyshine’,Ober I vas told you somedingsOf dot leedle boy of mine! Ot vas von cold Vinter vedder,Ven der snow vas all about–Dot you have to chop der hatchetEef you got der […]

Donn Piatt–of Mac-o-chee,–Not the one of History,Who, with flaming tongue and pen,Scathes the vanities of men;Not the one whose biting witCuts pretense and etches itOn the brazen brow that daresFilch the laurel that it wears:Not the Donn Piatt whose praiseEchoes in the noisy waysOf the faction, onward ledBy the statesman!–But, instead,Give the simple man to […]

Them Flowers

Story type: Poetry

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Take a feller ‘at’s sick and laid up on the shelf,All shaky, and ga’nted, and pore–Jes all so knocked out he can’t handle hisselfWith a stiff upper-lip any more;Shet him up all alone in the gloom of a roomAs dark as the tomb, and as grim,And then take and send him some roses in bloom,And […]

The Quiet Lodger

Story type: Poetry

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The man that rooms next door to me:Two weeks ago, this very night,He took possession quietly,As any other lodger might–But why the room next mine should soAttract him I was vexed to know,–Because his quietude, in fine,Was far superior to mine. “Now, I like quiet, truth to tell,A tranquil life is sweet to me–But this,” […]

O the waiting in the watches of the night!In the darkness, desolation, and contrition and affright;The awful hush that holds us shut away from all delight:The ever weary memory that ever weary goesRecounting ever over every aching loss it knows–The ever weary eyelids gasping ever for repose–In the dreary, weary watches of the night! Dark–stifling […]

His Vigil

Story type: Poetry

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Close the book and dim the light,I shall read no more to-night.No–I am not sleepy, dear–Do not go: sit by me hereIn the darkness and the deepSilence of the watch I keep.Something in your presence soSoothes me–as in long agoI first felt your hand–as now–In the darkness touch my brow;I’ve no other wish than youThus […]

First the teacher called the roll,Clos’t to the beginnin’,“Addeliney Bowersox!”Set the school a-grinnin’.Wintertime, and stingin’-coldWhen the session took up–Cold as we all looked at her,Though she couldn’t look up! Total stranger to us, too–Country-folks ain’t allusNigh so shameful unpoliteAs some people call us!–But the honest facts is, then,Addeliney Bower-Sox’s feelin’s was so hurtShe cried half […]

To The Serenader

Story type: Poetry

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Tinkle on, O sweet guitar,Let the dancing fingersLoiter where the low notes areBlended with the singer’s:Let the midnight pour the moon’sMellow wine of gloryDown upon him through the tune’sOld romantic story! I am listening, my love,Through the cautious lattice,Wondering why the stars aboveAll are blinking at us;Wondering if his eyes from thereCatch the moonbeam’s shimmerAs […]

I thought the deacon liked me, yitI warn’t adzackly shore of it–Fer, mind ye, time and time agin,When jiners ‘ud be comin’ in,I’d seed him shakin’ hands as freeWith all the sistern as with me!But jurin’ last Revival, whereHe called on me to lead in prayer,An’ kneeled there with me, side by side,A-whisper’n’ “he felt […]

All hope of rest withdrawn me?–What dread command hath putThis awful curse upon me–The curse of the wandering foot!Forward and backward and thither,And hither and yon again–Wandering ever! And whither?Answer them, God! Amen. The blue skies are far o’er me—The bleak fields near below:Where the mother that bore me?–Where her grave in the snow?–Glad in […]

A monument for the Soldiers!And what will ye build it of?Can ye build it of marble, or brass, or bronze,Outlasting the Soldiers’ love?Can ye glorify it with legendsAs grand as their blood hath writFrom the inmost shrine of this land of thineTo the outermost verge of it? And the answer came: We would build itOut […]

Iry an’ Billy an’ Jo!–Iry an’ Billy’s the boys,An’ Jo’s their dog, you know,–Their pictures took all in a row.Bet they kin kick up a noise–Iry and Billy, the boys,And that-air little dog Jo! Iry’s the one ‘at standsUp there a-lookin’ so mildAn’ meek–with his hat in his hands,Like such a ‘bediant child–(Sakes-alive!)–An’ Billy he […]

A Full Harvest

Story type: Poetry

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Seems like a feller’d ort ‘o jes’ to-dayGit down and roll and waller, don’t you know,In that-air stubble, and flop up and crow,Seein’ sich craps! I’ll undertake to sayThere’re no wheat’s ever turned out thatawayAfore this season!–Folks is keerless tho’,And too fergitful–‘caze we’d ort ‘o showMore thankfulness!–Jes’ looky hyonder, hey?–And watch that little reaper wadin’ […]

In its color, shade and shine,‘T was a summer warm as wine,With an effervescent flavoring of flowered bough and vine,And a fragrance and a tasteOf ripe roses gone to waste,And a dreamy sense of sun- and moon- and star-light interlaced. ‘Twas a summer such as broodsO’er enchanted solitudes,Where the hand of Fancy leads us through […]

Blind

Story type: Poetry

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You think it is a sorry thingThat I am blind. Your pityingIs welcome to me; yet indeed,I think I have but little needOf it. Though you may marvel muchThat we, who see by sense of touchAnd taste and hearing, see things youMay never look upon; and trueIs it that even in the scentOf blossoms we […]

Right here at home, boys, in old Hoosierdom,Where strangers allus joke us when they come,And brag o’ their old States and interprize–Yit settle here; and ‘fore they realize,They’re “hoosier” as the rest of us, and liveRight here at home, boys, with their past fergive! Right here at home, boys, is the place, I guess,Fer me […]

The Shoemaker

Story type: Poetry

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Thou Poet, who, like any lark,Dost whet thy beak and trillFrom misty morn till murky dark,Nor ever pipe thy fill:Hast thou not, in thy cheery note,One poor chirp to confer–One verseful twitter to devoteUnto the Shoe-ma-ker? At early dawn he doth peg inHis noble work and brave;And eke from cark and wordly sinHe seeketh soles […]

The old sea captain has sailed the seasSo long, that the waves at mirth,Or the waves gone wild, and the crests of these,Were as near playmates from birth:He has loved both the storm and the calm, becauseThey seemed as his brothers twain,–The flapping sail was his soul’s applause,And his rapture, the roaring main. But now–like […]

What intuition named thee?–Through what thrillOf the awed soul came the command divineInto the mother-heart, foretelling thineShould palpitate with his whose raptures willSing on while daisies bloom and lavrocks trillTheir undulating ways up through the fineFair mists of heavenly reaches? Thy pure lineFalls as the dew of anthems, quiring stillThe sweeter since the Scottish singer […]

O it was but a dream I hadWhile the musician played!–And here the sky, and here the gladOld ocean kissed the glade–And here the laughing ripples ran,And here the roses grewThat threw a kiss to every manThat voyaged with the crew. Our silken sails in lazy foldsDrooped in the breathless breeze:As o’er a field of […]

Being His Mother

Story type: Poetry

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Being his mother–when he goes awayI would not hold him overlong, and soSometimes my yielding sight of him grows OSo quick of tears, I joy he did not stayTo catch the faintest rumor of them! Nay,Leave always his eyes clear and glad, althoughMine own, dear Lord, do fill to overflow;Let his remembered features, as I […]

June At Woodruff

Story type: Poetry

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Out at Woodruff Place–afarFrom the city’s glare and jar,With the leafy trees, insteadOf the awnings, overhead;With the shadows cool and sweet,For the fever of the street;With the silence, like a prayer,Breathing round us everywhere. Gracious anchorage, at last,From the billows of the vastTide of life that comes and goes,Whence and where nobody knows–Moving, like a […]

I. Dawn, noon and dewfall! Bluebird and robinUp and at it airly, and the orchard-blossoms bobbin’!Peekin’ from the winder, half-awake, and wishin’I could go to sleep agin as well as go a-fishin’! II. On the apern o’ the dam, legs a-danglin’ over,Drowsy-like with sound o’ worter and the smell o’ clover:Fish all out a visitin’–‘cept […]

Nessmuk

Story type: Poetry

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I hail thee, Nessmuk, for the lofty toneYet simple grace that marks thy poetry!True forester thou art, and still to be,Even in happier fields than thou hast known.Thus, in glad visions, glimpses am I shownOf groves delectable–“preserves” for thee–Ranged but by friends of thine–I name thee three:– First, Chaucer, with his bald old pate new-grownWith […]

A Southern Singer

Story type: Poetry

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Written In Madison Caweln’s “Lyrics and Idyls.” Herein are blown from out the SouthSongs blithe as those of Pan’s pursed mouth–As sweet in voice as, in perfume,The night-breath of magnolia-bloom. Such sumptuous languor lures the sense–Such luxury of indolence–The eyes blur as a nymph’s might blur,With water-lilies watching her. You waken, thrilling at the trillOf […]

A Dream Of Autumn

Story type: Poetry

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Mellow hazes, lowly trailingOver wood and meadow, veilingSomber skies, with wildfowl sailingSailor-like to foreign lands;And the north-wind overleapingSummer’s brink, and floodlike sweepingWrecks of roses where the weepingWillows wring their helpless hands. Flared, like Titan torches flingingFlakes of flame and embers, springingFrom the vale the trees stand swingingIn the moaning atmosphere;While in dead’ning-lands the lowingOf the […]

The Hoosier Folk-Child–all unsung–Unlettered all of mind and tongue;Unmastered, unmolested–madeMost wholly frank and unafraid:Untaught of any school–unvexedOf law or creed–all unperplexed–Unsermoned, aye, and undefiled,An all imperfect-perfect child–A type which (Heaven forgive us!) youAnd I do tardy honor to,And so, profane the sanctitiesOf our most sacred memories.Who, growing thus from boy to man,That dares not be […]

Bad Boy’s Version. Tell you a story–an’ it’s a fac’:–Wunst wuz a little boy, name wuz Jack,An’ he had sword an’ buckle an’ strapMaked of gold, an’ a “‘visibul cap;”An’ he killed Gi’nts ‘at et whole cows–Th’ horns an’ all–an’ pigs an’ sows!But Jack, his golding sword wuz, oh!So awful sharp ‘at he could goAn’ […]

Tomps ‘ud allus haf to saySomepin’ ’bout “his mother’s way.”–He lived hard-like–never jinedAny church of any kind.–“It was Mother’s way,” says he,“To be good enough fer meAnd her too,–and certinlyLord has heerd her pray!”Propped up on his dyin’ bed,–“Shore as Heaven’s overhead,I’m a-goin’ there,” he said—“It was Mother’s way.”

Piped to the Spirit of John Keats. I. Would that my lips might pour out in thy praiseA fitting melody–an air sublime,–A song sun-washed and draped in dreamy haze–The floss and velvet of luxurious rhyme:A lay wrought of warm languors, and o’er-brimmedWith balminess, and fragrance of wild flowersSuch as the droning bee ne’er wearies of–Such […]

Jap Miller

Story type: Poetry

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Jap Miller down at Martinsville’s the blamedest feller yit!When he starts in a-talkin’ other folks is apt to quit!–‘Pears like that mouth o’ his’n wuz n’t made fer nuthin’ elseBut jes’ to argify ’em down and gether in their pelts:He’ll talk you down on tariff; er he’ll talk you down on tax,And prove the pore […]

A Water-Color

Story type: Poetry

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Low hidden in among the forest treesAn artist’s tilted easel, ankle-deepIn tousled ferns and mosses, and in theseA fluffy water-spaniel, half asleepBeside a sketch-book and a fallen hat–A little wicker flask tossed into that. A sense of utter carelessness and graceOf pure abandon in the slumb’rous scene,–As if the June, all hoydenish of face,Had romped […]

The Cyclone

Story type: Poetry

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So lone I stood, the very trees seemed drawnIn conference with themselves.–Intense–intenseSeemed everything;–the summer splendor onThe sight,–magnificence! A babe’s life might not lighter fail and dieThan failed the sunlight–Though the hour was noon,The palm of midnight might not lighter lieUpon the brow of June. With eyes upraised, I saw the underwingsOf swallows–gone the instant afterward–While […]

The Home-Going

Story type: Poetry

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We must get home–for we have been awaySo long it seems forever and a day!And O so very homesick we have grown,The laughter of the world is like a moanIn our tired hearing, and its songs as vain,–We must get home–we must get home again! We must get home: It hurts so, staying here,Where fond […]

The Iron Horse

Story type: Poetry

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No song is mine of Arab steed–My courser is of nobler blood,And cleaner limb and fleeter speed,And greater strength and hardihoodThan ever cantered wild and freeAcross the plains of Araby. Go search the level desert-landFrom Sana on to Samarcand–Wherever Persian prince has beenOr Dervish, Sheik or Bedouin,And I defy you there to pointMe out a […]

Oh, the Circus-Day parade! How the bugles played and played!And how the glossy horses tossed their flossy manes, and neighed,As the rattle and the rhyme of the tenor-drummer’s timeFilled all the hungry hearts of us with melody sublime! How the grand band-wagon shone with a splendor all its own,And glittered with a glory that our […]

The rhyme o’ The Raggedy Man’s ‘at’s bestIs Tickle me, Love, in these Lonesome Ribs,–‘Cause that-un’s the strangest of all o’ the rest,An’ the worst to learn, an’ the last one guessed,An’ the funniest one, an’ the foolishest.–Tickle me, Love, in these Lonesome Ribs! I don’t know what in the world it means–Tickle me, Love, […]

Lawzy! don’t I rickollectThat-‘air old swing in the lane!Right and proper, I expect,Old times can’t come back again;But I want to state, ef theyCould come back, and I could sayWhat my pick ‘ud be, i jing!I’d say, Gimme the old swing‘Nunder the old locus’-treesOn the old place, ef you please!–Danglin’ there with half-shet eye,Waitin’ fer […]

Naughty Claude

Story type: Poetry

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When Little Claude was naughty wunstAt dinner-time, an’ saidHe won’t say “Thank you” to his Ma,She maked him go to bedAn’ stay two hours an’ not git up,–So when the clock struck Two,Nen Claude says,–“Thank you, Mr. Clock,I’m much obleeged to you!”

Ho! green fields and running brooks!Knotted strings and fishing-hooksOf the truant, stealing downWeedy backways of the town. Where the sunshine overlooks,By green fields and running brooks,All intruding guests of chanceWith a golden tolerance, Cooing doves, or pensive pairOf picnickers, straying there–By green fields and running brooks,Sylvan shades and mossy nooks! And–O Dreamer of the Days,Murmurer […]

The Old Tramp

Story type: Poetry

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A Old Tramp slep’ in our stable wunst,An’ The Raggedy Man he caughtAn’ roust him up, an’ chased him offClean out through our back lot! An’ th’ Old Tramp hollered back an’ said,–“You’re a purty man!–You air!–With a pair o’ eyes like two fried eggs,An’ a nose like a Bartlutt pear!”

On the banks o’ Deer Crick! There’s the place fer me!–Worter slidin’ past ye jes as clair as it kin be:–See yer shadder in it, and the shadder o’ the sky,And the shadder o’ the buzzard as he goes a-lazein’ by;Shadder o’ the pizen-vines, and shadder o’ the trees–And I purt’-nigh said the shadder o’ […]

Old Aunt Mary’s

Story type: Poetry

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Wasn’t it pleasant, O brother mine,In those old days of the lost sunshineOf youth–when the Saturday’s chores were through,And the “Sunday’s wood” in the kitchen, too,And we went visiting, “me and you,”Out to Old Aunt Mary’s? It all comes back so clear to-day!Though I am as bald as you are gray–Out by the barn-lot, and […]

Winter Fancies

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I Winter withoutAnd warmth within;The winds may shoutAnd the storm begin;The snows may packAt the window pane,And the skies grow black,And the sun remainHidden awayThe livelong day–But here–in here is the warmth of May! II Swoop your spitefullestUp the flue,Wild Winds–do!What in the world do I care for you?O delightfullestWeather of all,Howl and squall,And shake […]

The Runaway Boy

Story type: Poetry

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Wunst I sassed my Pa, an’ heWon’t stand that, an’ punished me,–Nen when he was gone that day,I slipped out an’ runned away. I tooked all my copper-cents,An’ clumbed over our back fenceIn the jimpson-weeds ‘at growedEver’where all down the road. Nen I got out there, an’ nenI runned some–an’ runned againWhen I met a […]

When little Dickie Swope’s a man,He’s go’ to be a Sailor;An’ little Hamey Tincher, he’sA-go’ to be a Tailor:Bud Mitchell, he’s a-go’ to beA stylish Carriage-Maker;An’ when I grow a grea’-big man,I’m go’ to be a Baker! An’ Dick’ll buy his sailor-suitO’ Hame; and Hame’ll take itAn’ buy as fine a double-riggAs ever Bud can […]

Jes’ a little bit o’ feller–I remember still–Ust to almost cry fer Christmas, like a youngster will.Fourth o’ July’s nothin’ to it!–New Year’s ain’t a smell!Easter-Sunday–Circus-day–jes’ all dead in the shell!Lawzy, though! at night, you know, to set around an’ hearThe old folks work the story off about the sledge an’ deer,An’ “Santy” skootin’ round […]

I. Time of crisp and tawny leaves,And of tarnished harvest sheaves,And of dusty grasses–weeds–Thistles, with their tufted seedsVoyaging the Autumn breezeLike as fairy argosies:Time of quicker flash of wings,And of clearer twitteringsIn the grove, or deeper shadeOf the tangled everglade,–Where the spotted water-snakeCoils him in the sunniest brake;And the bittern, as in fright,Darts, in sudden, […]

The boy lives on our Farm, he’s notAfeard o’ horses none!An’ he can make ’em lope, er trot,Er rack, er pace, er run.Sometimes he drives two horses, whenHe comes to town an’ bringsA wagon-full o’ ‘taters nen,An’ roastin’-ears an’ things. Two horses is “a team,” he says,An’ when you drive er hitch,The right-un’s a “near-horse,” […]

Uncle Sidney, when he wuz here,Maked me a squirtgun out o’ someElder-bushes ‘at growed out nearWhere wuz the brickyard–‘way out clearTo where the toll-gate come! So when we walked back home again,He maked it, out in our woodhouse whereWuz the old workbench, an’ the old jack-plane,An’ the old ‘pokeshave, an’ the tools all lay’n’Ist like […]

“Best time to kill a hog’s when he’s fat.” –Old Saw. Mostly folks is law-abidin’Down on Wriggle Crick–,Seein’ they’s no Squire residin’In our bailywick;No grand juries, no suppeenies,Ner no vested rights to pickOut yer man, jerk up and jail efHe’s outragin’ Wriggle Crick! Wriggle Crick hain’t got no lawin’,Ner no suits to beat;Ner no court-house […]

What dat scratchin’ at de kitchin do’?Done heah’n dat foh an hour er mo’!Tell you Mr. Niggah, das sho’s yo’ bo’n,Hit’s mighty lonesome waitin’ when de folks is gone! Blame my trap! How de wind do blow!An’ dis is das de night foh de witches, sho’!Dey’s trouble gon’ to waste when de old slut whine,An’ […]

The Town Karnteel

Story type: Poetry

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The Town Karnteel–! It’s who’ll revealIts praises jushtifiable?For who can sing av anythingSo lovely and reliable?Whin Summer, Spring, or Winter liesFrom Malin’s Head to Tipperary,There’s no such town for interpriseBechuxt Youghal and Londonderry! There’s not its likes in Ireland–For twic’t the week, be gorries!They’re playing jigs upon the band,And joomping there in sacks– and– and–And […]

1The Hired Man Talks There’s old man Willards; an’ his wife;An’ Marg’et– S’repty’s sister–; an’There’s me– an’ I’m the hired man;An’ Tomps McClure, you better yer life! Well now, old Willards hain’t so bad,Considerin’ the chance he’s had.Of course, he’s rich, an’ sleeps an’ eatsWhenever he’s a mind to: TakesAn’ leans back in the Amen-seatsAn’ […]

Sence I tuk holt o’ Gibbses’ ChurnAnd be’n a-handlin’ the concern,I’ve travelled round the grand old StateOf Indiany, lots, o’ late–!I’ve canvassed Crawferdsville and sweatAround the town o’ Layfayette;I’ve saw a many a County-seatI ust to think was hard to beat:At constant dreenage and expenseI’ve worked Greencastle and Vincennes–Drapped out o’ Putnam into Clay,Owen, and […]

Leedle Dutch Baby

Story type: Poetry

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Leedle Dutch baby haff come ter town!Jabber und jump till der day gone down–Jabber und sphlutter und sphlit hees jaws–Vot a Dutch baby dees Londsmon vas!I dink dose mout’ vas leedle too videOber he laugh fon dot altso-side!Haff got blenty off deemple und vrown–?Hey! Leedle Dutchman come ter town! Leedle Dutch baby, I dink me […]

The Object Lesson

Story type: Literature

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Barely a year ago I attended the Friday afternoon exercises of a country school. My mission there, as I remember, was to refresh my mind with such material as might be gathered, for a “valedictory,” which, I regret to say, was to be handed down to posterity under another signature than my own. There was […]

The Judkins Papers

Story type: Literature

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FATHER AND SON Mr. Judkins’ boy came home yesterday with a bottle of bugs in his pocket, and as the quiet little fellow sat on the back porch in his favorite position, his legs elbowed and flattened out beneath him like a letter “W,” his genial and eccentric father came suddenly upon him. “And what’s […]

A Caller From Boone

Story type: Literature

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BENJ. F. JOHNSON VISITS THE EDITOR It was a dim and chill and loveless afternoon in the late fall of eighty-three when I first saw the genial subject of this hasty sketch. From time to time the daily paper on which I worked had been receiving, among the general literary driftage of amateur essayists, poets […]

AS TOLD BEFORE THE NEW ENGLAND SOCIETY IN NEW YORK CITY Since we have had no stories to-night I will venture, Mr. President, to tell a story that I have heretofore heard at nearly all the banquets I have ever attended. It is a story simply, and you must bear with it kindly. It is […]