James Whitcomb Riley

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

The Harper


Like a drift of faded blossoms
Caught in a slanting rain,
His fingers glimpsed down the strings of his harp
In a tremulous refrain:

Patter and tinkle, and drip and drip!
Ah! but the chords were rainy sweet!
And I closed my eyes and I bit my lip,
As he played there in the street.

Patter, and drip, and tinkle!
And there was the little bed
In the corner of the garret,
And the rafters overhead!

And there was the little window --
Tinkle, and drip, and drip!--
The rain above, and a mother's love,
And God's companionship!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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