James Whitcomb Riley

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

The Artemus Of Michigan - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

Grand Haven is in Michigan, and in possession, too,
Of as many rare attractions as our party ever knew:--
The fine hotel, the landlord, and the lordly bill of fare,
And the dainty-neat completeness of the pretty waiters there;
The touch on the piano in the parlor, and the trill
Of the exquisite soprano, in our fancy singing still;
Our cozy room, its comfort, and our thousand grateful tho'ts,
And at our door the gentle face

His artless observations, and his drollery of style,
Bewildered with that sorrowful serenity of smile--
The eye's elusive twinkle, and the twitching of the lid,
Like he didn't go to say it and was sorry that he did.
O Artemus of Michigan! so worthy of the name,
Our manager indorses it, and Bill Nye does the same--
You tickled our affection in so many tender spots
That even Recollection laughs

And hark ye! O Grand Haven! count your rare attractions o'er--
The commerce of your ships at sea, and ships along the shore;
Your railroads, and your industries, and interests untold,
Your Opera House--our lecture, and the gate-receipts in gold!--
Ay, Banner Town of Michigan! count all your treasures through--
Your crowds of summer tourists, and your Sanitarium, too;
Your lake, your beach, your drives, your breezy groves
and grassy plots,
But head the list of all of these

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010

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