Learn More

James Whitcomb Riley

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

My Dancin'-Days Is Over


What is it in old fiddle-chunes 'at makes me ketch my breath
And ripples up my backbone tel I'm tickled most to death?--
Kindo' like that sweet-sick feelin', in the long sweep of a swing,
The first you ever swung in, with yer first sweet-heart, i jing!--
Yer first picnic--yer first ice-cream--yer first o' _ever'thing_
'At happened 'fore yer dancin'-days wuz over!

I never understood it--and I s'pose I never can,--
But right in town here, yisterd'y, I heerd a pore blindman
A-fiddlin' old 'Gray Eagle'--_And_-sir! I jes stopped my load
O' hay and listened at him--yes, and watched the way he 'bow'd,'--
And back I went, plum forty year', with boys and girls I knowed
And loved, long 'fore my dancin'-days wuz over!--

At high noon in yer city,--with yer blame Magnetic-Cars
A-hummin' and a-screetchin' past--and bands and G.A.R.'s
A-marchin'--and fire-ingines.--_All_ the noise, the whole street through,
Wuz lost on me!--I only heerd a whipperwill er two,
It 'peared-like, kindo' callin' 'crost the darkness and the dew,
Them nights afore my dancin'-days wuz over.

T'uz Chused'y-night at Wetherell's, er We'nsd'y-night at Strawn's,
Er Fourth-o'-July-night at uther Tomps's house er John's!--
With old Lew Church from Sugar Crick, with that old fiddle he
Had sawed clean through the Army, from Atlanty to the sea--
And yit he'd fetched, her home ag'in, so's he could play fer me
One't more afore my dancin'-days wuz over!

The woods 'at's all ben cut away wuz growin' same as then;
The youngsters all wuz boys ag'in 'at's now all oldish men;
And all the girls 'at _then_ wuz girls--I saw 'em, one and all,
As _plain_ as then--the middle-sized, the short-and-fat, and tall--
And, 'peared-like, I danced 'Tucker' fer 'em up and down the wall
Jes like afore my dancin' days wuz over!

* * * * *

Yer _po_-leece they can holler 'Say! _you_, Uncle! drive ahead!--
You can't use _all_ the right-o'-way!'--fer that wuz what they said!--
But, jes the same,--in spite of all 'at you call 'interprise
And prog-gress of _you_-folks Today,' we're all of _fambly-ties_--
We're all got feelin's fittin' fer the _tears_ 'at's in our eyes
Er the _smiles_ afore our dancin'-days is over.

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (My Dancin'-Days Is Over by James Whitcomb Riley )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. The Saddest Poem, Pablo Neruda
  2. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. I Knew a Woman, Theodore Roethke
  5. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  6. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  7. Jiske Dhun Par Duniya Nache, Kumar Vishwas
  8. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  9. A Little While, Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  10. Daffodils, William Wordsworth

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

A little while a little love
The hour yet bears for thee and me
Who have not drawn the veil to see
If still our heaven be lit above.
Thou merely, at the day's last sigh,
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Your Paradise Is Met, Naveed Akram
  2. Who Needs Rains In Heaven?, G. AKANJI OLANIYI
  3. Prevention is better than cure, Leong Ming Loong
  4. Twittering Among Feelings, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  5. Living Passion, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  6. Love Magic, Col Muhamad Khalid Khan
  7. Life Stretching, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  8. Electric Love, Suresh Dogra
  9. Capturing An Awareness, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  10. Letting Imagination Run, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
[Hata Bildir]