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James Whitcomb Riley

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

The Good, Old-Fashioned People


When we hear Uncle Sidney tell
About the long-ago
An' old, old friends he loved so well
When _he_ was young--My-oh!--
Us childern all wish _we'd 'a'_ bin
A-livin' then with Uncle,--so
We could a-kindo' happened in
On them old friends he used to know!--
The good, old-fashioned people--
The hale, hard-working people--
The kindly country people
'At Uncle used to know!

They was God's people, Uncle says,
An' gloried in His name,
An' worked, without no selfishness,
An' loved their neighbers same
As they was kin: An' when they biled
Their tree-molasses, in the Spring,
Er butchered in the Fall, they smiled
An' sheered with all jist ever'thing!--

The good, old-fashioned people--
The hale, hard-working people--
The kindly country people
'At Uncle used to know!

He tells about 'em, lots o' times,
Till we'd all ruther hear
About 'em than the Nurs'ry Rhymes
Er Fairies--mighty near!--
Only sometimes he stops so long
An' then talks on so low an' slow,
It's purt'-nigh sad as any song
To listen to him talkin' so
Of the good, old-fashioned people--
The hale, hard-working people--
The kindly country people
'At Uncle used to know!

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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