James Whitcomb Riley

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

Iry And Billy Jo - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

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 stands
Up there a-lookin' so mild
An' meek--with his hat in his hands,
Like such a 'bediant child--
(_Sakes-alive_!)--An' _Billy_ he sets
In the cheer an' holds onto Jo an' _sweats_
Hisse'f, a-lookin' so good! Ho-ho!
Iry an' Billy an' Jo!

Yit the way them boys, you know,
Usen to jes turn in
An' fight over that dog Jo
Wuz a burnin'-shame-an'-a-sin !--
Iry _he'd_ argy 'at, by gee-whizz!
That-air little Jo-dog wuz _his_!--
An' Billy _he'd_ claim it wuzn't so--
'Cause the dog wuz _his'n_!--An' at it they'd go,
Nip-an'-tugg, tooth-an'-toenail, you know--
Iry an' Billy an' Jo!

But their Pa--(He wuz the marshal then)
He 'tended-like 'at he _jerked 'em up_;
An' got a jury o' Brickyard men
An' helt a _trial_ about the pup:
An' _he_ says _he_ jes like to a-died
When the rest o' us town-boys _testified_--
Regardin', you know,
Iry an' Billy an' Jo.--

'Cause we all knowed, when _the Gypsies_ they
Camped down here by the crick last Fall,
They brung Jo with 'em, an' give him away
To Iry an' Billy fer nothin' at all!--
So the jury fetched in the _verdick_ so
Jo he ain't _neether_ o' theirn fer _shore_--
He's _both_ their dog, an' jes no more!
An' so
They've quit quarrelin' long ago,
Iry an' Billy an' Jo.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010

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