James Whitcomb Riley

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

The Old Home By The Mill - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

This is 'The old Home by the Mill'--far we still call it so,
Although the old mill, roof and sill, is all gone long ago.
The old home, though, and old folks, and the old spring, and a few
Old cat-tails, weeds and hartychokes, is left to welcome you!

Here, Marg'et, fetch the man a tin to drink out of' Our spring
Keeps kindo-sorto cavin' in, but don't 'taste' anything!
She's kindo agein', Marg'et is--'the old process,' like me,
All ham-stringed up with rheumatiz, and on in seventy-three.

Jes' me and Marg'et lives alone here--like in long ago;
The childern all put off and gone, and married, don't you know?
One's millin' way out West somewhere; two other miller-boys
In Minnyopolis they air; and one's in Illinoise.

The oldest gyrl--the first that went--married and died right here;
The next lives in Winn's Settlement--for purt' nigh thirty year!
And youngest one--was allus far the old home here--but no!--
Her man turns in and he packs her 'way off to Idyho!

I don't miss them like _Marg'et_ does--'cause I got _her_, you see;
And when she pines for them--that's 'cause _she's_ only jes' got
I laugh, and joke her 'bout it all.--But talkin' sense, I'll say,
When she was tuk so bad last Fall, I laughed the t'other way!

I haint so favorble impressed 'bout dyin'; but ef I
Found I was only second-best when _us two_ come to die,
I'd 'dopt the 'new process' in full, ef _Marg'et_ died, you see,--
I'd jes' crawl in my grave and pull the green grass over me!

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010

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