James Whitcomb Riley

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

Down Around The River


Noon-time and June-time, down around the river!
Have to furse with 'Lizey Ann--but lawzy! I fergive her!
Drives me off the place, and 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 keerin' where his coat is,--
Specalatin', more 'n like, he haint a-goin' to mind me,
And guessin' where, say twelve o'clock, a feller'd likely find me.

Noon-time and June-time, down around the river!
Clean out o' sight o' home, and skulkin' under kivver
Of the sycamores, jack-oaks, and swamp-ash and ellum--
Idies all so jumbled up, you kin hardly tell 'em!--
_Tired_, you know, but _lovin'_ it, and smilin' jest to think 'at
Any sweeter tiredness you'd fairly want to _drink_ it.
Tired o' fishin'--tired o' fun--line out slack and slacker--
All you want in all the world's a little more tobacker!

Hungry, but _a-hidin'_ it, er jes' a-not a-keerin':-
Kingfisher gittin' up and skootin' out o' hearin';
Snipes on the t'other side, where the County Ditch is,
Wadin' up and down the aidge like they'd rolled their britches!
Old turkle on the root kindo-sorto drappin'
Intoo th' worter like he don't know how it happen!
Worter, shade and all so mixed, don't know which you'd orter
Say, th' _worter_ in the shadder--_shadder_ in the _worter!_

Somebody hollerin'--'way around the bend in
Upper Fork--where yer eye kin jes' ketch the endin'
Of the shiney wedge o' wake some muss-rat's a-makin'
With that pesky nose o' his! Then a sniff o' bacon,
Corn-bread and 'dock-greens--and little Dave a-shinnin'
'Crost the rocks and mussel-shells, a-limpin' and a-grinnin',
With yer dinner far ye, and a blessin' from the giver.
Noon-time and June-time down around the river!

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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