James Whitcomb Riley

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

A Home-Made Fairy Tale - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

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 shade
Of the apple-trees, where we romped and played
Till the moon was up, and you thought I'd gone
Fast asleep--, That was all put on!
For I was a-watchin' something queer
Goin' on there in the grass, my dear--!
'Way down deep in it, there I see
A little dude-Fairy who winked at me,
And snapped his fingers, and laughed as low
And fine as the whine of a mus-kee-to!
I kept still-- watchin' him closer-- and
I noticed a little guitar in his hand,
Which he leant 'ginst a little dead bee-- and laid
His cigarette down on a clean grass-blade,
And then climbed up on the shell of a snail--
Carefully dusting his swallowtail--
And pulling up, by a waxed web-thread,
This little guitar, you remember. I said!
And there he trinkled and trilled a tune--,
'My Love, so Fair, Tans in the Moon!'
Till presently, out of the clover-top
He seemed to be singing to, came k'pop!
The purtiest, daintiest Fairy face
In all this world, or any place!
Then the little ser'nader waved his hand,
As much as to say, 'We'll excuse you!' and
I heard, as I squinted my eyelids to,
A kiss like the drip of a drop of dew!

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010

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