James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

James Whitcomb Riley Poems

Best Poem of James Whitcomb Riley

A Barefoot Boy

A barefoot boy! I mark him at his play --
For May is here once more, and so is he, --
His dusty trousers, rolled half to the knee,
And his bare ankles grimy, too, as they:
Cross-hatchings of the nettle, in array
Of feverish stripes, hint vividly to me
Of woody pathways winding endlessly
Along the creek, where even yesterday
He plunged his shrinking body -- gasped and shook --
Yet called the water 'warm,' with never lack
Of joy. And so, half enviously I look
Upon this graceless barefoot and his track, --
His toe stubbed -- ay, his big toe-nail ...

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Our Hired Girl

1 Our hired girl, she's 'Lizabuth Ann;
2 An' she can cook best things to eat!
3 She ist puts dough in our pie-pan,
4 An' pours in somepin' 'at's good an' sweet;
5 An' nen she salts it all on top
6 With cinnamon; an' nen she'll stop
7 An' stoop an' slide it, ist as slow,
8 In th' old cook-stove, so's 'twon't slop
9 An' git all spilled; nen bakes it, so

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