James Whitcomb Riley

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

The Ripest Peach


The ripest peach is highest on the tree --
And so her love, beyond the reach of me,
Is dearest in my sight. Sweet breezes, bow
Her heart down to me where I worship now!

She looms aloft where every eye may see
The ripest peach is highest on the tree.
Such fruitage as her love I know, alas!
I may not reach here from the orchard grass.

I drink the sunshine showered past her lips
As roses drain the dewdrop as it drips.
The ripest peach is highest on the tree,
And so mine eyes gaze upward eagerly.

Why -- why do I not turn away in wrath
And pluck some heart here hanging in my path? --
Love's lower boughs bend with them -- but, ah me!
The ripest peach is highest on the tree!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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