James Whitcomb Riley

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

Nothin' To Say - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

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Nothin' to say, my daughter! Nothin' at all to say!
Gyrls that's in love, I've noticed, ginerly has their way!
Yer mother did, afore you, when her folks objected to me--
Yit here I am, and here you air; and yer mother--where is she?

You look lots like yer mother: Purty much same in size;
And about the same complected; and favor about the eyes:
Like her, too, about _livin_' here,--because _she_ couldn't stay:
It'll 'most seem like you was dead--like her!--But I hain't got nothin' to say!

She left you her little Bible--writ yer name acrost the page--
And left her ear bobs fer you, ef ever you come of age.
I've allus kep' 'em and gyuarded 'em, but ef yer goin' away--
Nothin' to say, my daughter! Nothin' at all to say!

You don't rikollect her, I reckon? No; you wasn't a year old then!
And now yer--how old _air_ you? W'y, child, not '_twenty_!' When?
And yer nex' birthday's in Aprile? and you want to git married that day?
... I wisht yer mother was livin'!--But--I hain't got nothin' to say!

Twenty year! and as good a gyrl as parent ever found!
There's a straw ketched onto yer dress there--I'll bresh it off--turn round.
(Her mother was jes' twenty when us two run away!)
Nothin' to say, my daughter! Nothin' at all to say!


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010



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