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James Whitcomb Riley

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

To a Boy Whistling


The smiling face of a happy boy
With its enchanted key
Is now unlocking in memory
My store of heartiest joy.

And my lost life again to-day,
In pleasant colors all aglow,
From rainbow tints, to pure white snow,
Is a panorama sliding away.

The whistled air of a simple tune
Eddies and whirls my thoughts around,
As fairy balloons of thistle-down
Sail through the air of June.

O happy boy with untaught grace!
What is there in the world to give
That can buy one hour of the life you live
Or the trivial cause of your smiling face!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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