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James Whitcomb Riley

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

The Curse Of The Wandering Foot


All hope of rest withdrawn me?--
What dread command hath put
This awful curse upon me--
The curse of the wandering foot!
Forward and backward and thither,
And hither and yon again--
Wandering ever! And whither?
Answer them, God! Amen.

The blue skies are far o'er me---
The bleak fields near below:
Where the mother that bore me?--
Where her grave in the snow?--
Glad in her trough of a coffin--
The sad eyes frozen shut
That wept so often, often,
The curse of the wandering foot!

Here in your marts I care not
Whatsoever ye think.
Good folk many who dare not
Give me to eat and drink:
Give me to sup of your pity--
Feast me on prayers!--O ye,
Met I your Christ in the city
He would fare forth with me--

Forward and onward and thither,
And hither again and yon,
With milk for our drink together
And honey to feed upon--
Nor hope of rest withdrawn us,
Since the one Father put
The blessed curse upon us--
The curse of the wandering foot.

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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