James Whitcomb Riley

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

Old Aunt Mary's


Wasn't it pleasant, O brother mine,
In those old days of the lost sunshine
Of youth-- when the Saturday's chores were through,
And the 'Sunday's wood' in the kitchen too,
And we went visiting, 'me and you,'
Out to Old Aunt Mary's?

It all comes back so clear to-day!
Though I am as bald as you are gray--
Out by the barn-lot, and down the lane,
We patter along in the dust again,
As light as the tips of the drops of the rain,
Out to Old Aunt Mary's!

We cross the pasture, and through the wood
Where the old gray snag of the poplar stood,
Where the hammering 'red-heads' hopped awry,
And the buzzard 'raised' in the 'clearing' sky
And lolled and circled, as we went by
Out to Old Aunt Mary's.

And then in the dust of the road again;
And the teams we met, and the countrymen;
And the long highway, with sunshine spread
As thick as butter on country bread,
Our cares behind, and our hearts ahead
Out to Old Aunt Mary's.

Why, I see her now in the open door,
Where the little gourds grew up the sides and o'er
The clapboard roof--! And her face-- ah, me!
Wasn't it good for a boy to see--
And wasn't it good for a boy to be
Out to Old Aunt Mary's?

The jelly-- the Jam and the marmalade,
And the cherry and quince 'preserves'' she made!
And the sweet-sour pickles of peach and pear,
With cinnamon in 'em, and all things rare--!
And the more we ate was the more to spare,
Out to Old Aunt Mary's!

And the old spring-house in the cool green gloom
Of the willow-trees--, and the cooler room
Where the swinging-shelves and the crocks were kept--
Where the cream in a golden languor slept
While the waters gurgled and laughed and wept--
Out to Old Aunt Mary's.

And O my brother, so far away,
This is to tell you she waits to-day
To welcome us--: Aunt Mary fell
Asleep this morning, whispering-- 'Tell
The boys to come!' And all is well
Out to Old Aunt Mary's.

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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  • George Brown (7/15/2012 12:34:00 PM)

    How can one NOT be affected by this simple poem of yore!
    Are we REALLY better off today?
    I wonder! (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

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