James Whitcomb Riley

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

A Passing Hail


Let us rest ourselves a bit!
Worry?-- wave your hand to it --
Kiss your finger-tips and smile
It farewell a little while.

Weary of the weary way
We have come from Yesterday,
Let us fret not, instead,
Of the wary way ahead.

Let us pause and catch our breath
On the hither side of death,
While we see the tender shoots
Of the grasses -- not the roots,--

While we yet look down -- not up --
To seek out the buttercup
And the daisy where they wave
O'er the green home of the grave.

Let us launch us smoothly on
The soft billows of the lawn,
And drift out across the main
Of our childish dreams again:

Voyage off, beneath the trees,
O'er the field's enchanted seas,
Where the lilies are our sails,
And our sea-gulls, nightingales:

Where no wilder storm shall beat
Than the wind that waves the wheat,
And no tempest-burst above
The old laughs we used to love:

Lose all troubles -- gain release,
Languor, and exceeding peace,
Cruising idly o'er the vast,
Calm mid-ocean of the Past.

Let us rest ourselves a bit!
Worry? -- Wave your hand to it --
Kiss your finger-tips and smile
It fare well a little while.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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