James Whitcomb Riley

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

The Rapture of the Year Poem by James Whitcomb Riley


While skies glint bright with bluest light
Through clouds that race o'er fields and town,
And leaves go dancing left and right,
And orchard apples tumble down;
While school-girls sweet, in lane or street,
Lean 'gainst the wind and feel and hear
Its glad heart like a lover's beat,--
So reigns the rapture of the year.

The ho! and hey! and whop-hooray!
Though winter clouds be looming,
Remember a November day
Is merrier than mildest May
With all her blossoms blooming.


While birds in scattered flight are blown
Aloft and lost in dusky mist,
And truant boys scud home alone
'Neath skies of gold and amethyst;
While twilight falls, and Echo calls
Across the haunted atmosphere,
With low, sweet laughs at intervals,--
So reigns the rapture of the year.

The ho! and hey! and whop-hooray!
Though winter clouds be looming,
Remember a November day
Is merrier than mildest May
With all her blossoms blooming.

Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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