James Whitcomb Riley

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

Writin' Back To The Home-Folks


My dear old friends--It jes beats all,
The way you write a letter
So's ever' _last_ line beats the _first_,
And ever' _next_-un's better!--
W'y, ever' fool-thing you putt down
You make so inte_rest_in',
A feller, readin' of 'em all,
Can't tell which is the _best_-un.

It's all so comfortin' and good,
'Pears-like I almost _hear_ ye
And git more sociabler, you know,
And hitch my cheer up near ye
And jes smile on ye like the sun
Acrosst the whole per-rairies
In Aprile when the thaw's begun
And country couples marries.

It's all so good-old-fashioned like
To _talk_ jes like we're _thinkin'_,
Without no hidin' back o' fans
And giggle-un and winkin',
Ner sizin' how each-other's dressed--
Like some is allus doin',--
'_Is_ Marthy Ellen's basque ben _turned_
Er shore-enough a new-un!'--

Er 'ef Steve's city-friend haint jes
'A _lee_tle kindo'-sorto''--
Er 'wears them-air blame eye-glasses
Jes 'cause he hadn't ort to?'
And so straight on, _dad-libitum_,
Tel all of us feels, _some_way,
Jes like our 'comp'ny' wuz the best
When we git up to come 'way!

That's why I like _old_ friends like you,--
Jes 'cause you're so _abidin'_.--
Ef I was built to live '_fer keeps_,'
My principul residin'
Would be amongst the folks 'at kep'
Me allus _thinkin'_ of 'em,
And sorto' eechin' all the time
To tell 'em how I love 'em.--

Sich folks, you know, I jes love so
I wouldn't live without 'em,
Er couldn't even drap asleep
But what I _dreamp'_ about 'em,--
And ef we minded God, I guess
We'd _all_ love one-another
Jes like one fam'bly,--me and Pap
And Madaline and Mother.

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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