James Whitcomb Riley

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

Our Hired Girl - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

1 Our hired girl, she's 'Lizabuth Ann;
2 An' she can cook best things to eat!
3 She ist puts dough in our pie-pan,
4 An' pours in somepin' 'at's good an' sweet;
5 An' nen she salts it all on top
6 With cinnamon; an' nen she'll stop
7 An' stoop an' slide it, ist as slow,
8 In th' old cook-stove, so's 'twon't slop
9 An' git all spilled; nen bakes it, so
10 It's custard-pie, first thing you know!
11 An' nen she'll say,
12 "Clear out o' my way!
13 They's time fer work, an' time fer play!
14 Take yer dough, an' run, child, run!
15 Er I cain't git no cookin' done!"

16 When our hired girl 'tends like she's mad,
17 An' says folks got to walk the chalk
18 When she's around, er wisht they had!
19 I play out on our porch an' talk
20 To Th' Raggedy Man 'at mows our lawn;
21 An' he says, "Whew!" an' nen leans on
22 His old crook-scythe, and blinks his eyes,
23 An' sniffs all 'round an' says, "I swawn!
24 Ef my old nose don't tell me lies,
25 It 'pears like I smell custard-pies!"
26 An' nen he'll say,
27 "Clear out o' my way!
28 They's time fer work, an' time fer play!
29 Take yer dough, an' run, child, run!
30 Er she cain't git no cookin' done!"

31 Wunst our hired girl, when she
32 Got the supper, an' we all et,
33 An' it wuz night, an' Ma an' me
34 An' Pa went wher' the "Social" met, --
35 An' nen when we come home, an' see
36 A light in the kitchen door, an' we
37 Heerd a maccordeun, Pa says, "Lan'-
38 O'-Gracious! who can her beau be?"
39 An' I marched in, an' 'Lizabuth Ann
40 Wuz parchin' corn fer The Raggedy Man!
41 Better say,
42 "Clear out o' the way!
43 They's time fer work, an' time fer play!
44 Take the hint, an' run, child, run!
45 Er we cain't git no courtin' done!"

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Read poems about / on: girl, work, child, time, home, light, running, children

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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