James Whitcomb Riley

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

The Little Coat


Here's his ragged 'roundabout';
Turn the pockets inside out:
See; his pen-knife, lost to use,
Rusted shut with apple-juice;
Here, with marbles, top and string,
Is his deadly 'devil-sling,'
With its rubber, limp at last
As the sparrows of the past!
Beeswax--buckles--leather straps--
Bullets, and a box of caps,--
Not a thing of all, I guess,
But betrays some waywardness--
E'en these tickets, blue and red,
For the Bible-verses said--
Such as this his mem'ry kept--
'Jesus wept.'

Here's a fishing hook-and-line,
Tangled up with wire and twine,
And dead angle-worms, and some
Slugs of lead and chewing-gum,
Blent with scents that can but come
From the oil of rhodium.
Here--a soiled, yet dainty note,
That some little sweetheart wrote,
Dotting,--'Vine grows round the stump,'
And--'My sweetest sugar lump!'
Wrapped in this--a padlock key
Where he's filed a touch-hole--see!
And some powder in a quill
Corked up with a liver pill;
And a spongy little chunk
Of 'punk.'

Here's the little coat--but O!
Where is he we've censured so!
Don't you hear us calling, dear?
Back! come back, and never fear.--
You may wander where you will,
Over orchard, field and hill;
You may kill the birds, or do
Anything that pleases you!
Ah, this empty coat of his!
Every tatter worth a kiss;
Every stain as pure instead
As the white stars overhead:
And the pockets--homes were they
Of the little hands that play
Now no more--but, absent, thus
Beckon us.

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Form:


Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Little Coat by James Whitcomb Riley )

There is no comment submitted by members..

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. Caged Bird
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  4. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  5. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  6. The Rose that Grew from Concrete, Tupac Shakur
  7. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  8. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  9. After a Death , Tomas Tranströmer
  10. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
[Hata Bildir]