James Whitcomb Riley

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

Nessmuk


I hail thee, Nessmuk, for the lofty tone
Yet simple grace that marks thy poetry!
True forester thou art, and still to be,
Even in happier fields than thou hast known.
Thus, in glad visions, glimpses am I shown
Of groves delectable--'preserves' for thee--
Ranged but by friends of thine--I name thee three:--

First, Chaucer, with his bald old pate new-grown
With changeless laurel; next, in Lincoln-green,
Gold-belted, bowed and bugled, Robin Hood;
And next, Ike Walton, patient and serene:
These three, O Nessmuk, gathered hunter-wise,
Are camped on hither slopes of Paradise
To hail thee first and greet thee, as they should.

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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