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Riley Child-Rhymes with Hoosier Pictures: Indiana Bicentennial Edition

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A must-have for Riley enthusiasts everywhere, this classic book has been faithfully reproduced for Indiana’s state bicentennial. Now with an introduction by lifelong Riley enthusiast and former Indiana Poet Laureate Norbert Krapf, this charming book contains 39 of James Whitcomb Riley's signature poems, including "Old Aunt Mary's," "Little Orphant Annie," and "The Raggedy Man." Graced by noted Brown County artist Will Vawter's illustrations of such poems as "The Nine Goblins," "The Circus Day Parade," and "Barefoot, Hungry, Lean Ornery Boys," this book offers a look at how childhood was lived a century ago. First produced in 1890, Riley Child-Rhymes with Hoosier Pictures recalls simpler times gone by.

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Little Orphant Annie

ePub

LITTLE Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay,

An’ wash the cups an’ saucers up, an’ brush the crumbs away,

An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth, an’ sweep,

An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn her board-an’-keep;

An’ all us other childern, when the supper things is done,

We set around the kitchen fire an’ has the mostest fun

A-list’nin’ to the witch-tales ’at Annie tells about,

An’ the Gobble-uns ’at gits you

Ef you

Don’t

Watch

Out!

Onc’t they was a little boy wouldn’t say his prayers,—

So when he went to bed at night, away up stairs,

His Mammy heerd him holler, an’ his Daddy heerd him bawl,

An’ when they turn’t the kivvers down, he wasn’t there at all!

An’ they seeked him in the rafter-room, an’ cubby-hole, an’ press,

An’ seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an’ ever’wheres, I guess;

But all they ever found was thist his pants an’ roundabout:—

 

Raggedy Man, The

ePub

O THE RAGGEDY MAN! He works fer Pa;

An’ he’s the goodest man ever you saw!

He comes to our house every day,

An’ waters the horses, an’ feeds ’em hay;

An’ he opens the shed—an’ we all ist laugh

When he drives out our little old wobble-ly calf;

An’ nen—ef our hired girl says he can—

He milks the cow fer ’Lizabuth Ann.—

Aint he a’ awful good Raggedy Man?

Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!

W’y, The Raggedy Man—he’s ist so good

He splits the kindlin’ an’ chops the wood;

An’ nen he spades in our garden, too,

An’ does most things ’at boys can’t do!—

He clumbed clean up in our big tree

An’ shooked a’ apple down fer me—

An’ nother’n’, too, fer ’Lizabuth Ann—

An’ nother’n’, too, fer The Raggedy Man.—

Aint he a’ awful kind Raggedy Man?

Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!

An’ The Raggedy Man, he knows most rhymes

An’ tells ’em, ef I be good, sometimes:

Knows ’bout Giunts, an’ Griffuns, an’ Elves,

 

Curly Locks

ePub

CURLY Locks! Curly Locks! wilt thou be mine?

Thou shalt not wash the dishes, nor yet feed the swine,—

But sit on a cushion and sew a fine seam,

And feast upon strawberries, sugar and cream.

Curly Locks! Curly Locks! wilt thou be mine?

The throb of my heart is in every line,

And the pulse of a passion as airy and glad

In its musical beat as the little Prince had!

Thou shalt not wash the dishes, nor yet feed the swine!—

O I’ll dapple thy hands with these kisses of mine

Till the pink of the nail of each finger shall be

As a little pet blush in full blossom for me.

But sit on a cushion and sew a fine seam,

And thou shalt have fabric as fair as a dream,—

The red of my veins, and the white of my love,

And the gold of my joy for the braiding thereof.

And feast upon strawberries, sugar and cream

From a service of silver, with jewels agleam,—

At thy feet will I bide, at thy beck will I rise,

 

Funny Little Fellow, The

ePub

’TWAS a Funny Little Fellow

Of the very purest type,

For he had a heart as mellow

As an apple over-ripe;

And the brightest little twinkle

When a funny thing occurred,

And the lightest little tinkle

Of a laugh you ever heard!

His smile was like the glitter

Of the sun in tropic lands,

And his talk a sweeter twitter

Than the swallow understands;

Hear him sing—and tell a story—

Snap a joke—ignite a pun,—

’Twas a capture—rapture—glory,

And explosion—all in one!

Though he hadn’t any money—

That condiment which tends

To make a fellow “honey”

For the palate of his friends;—

Sweet simples he compounded—

Sovereign antidotes for sin

Or taint,—a faith unbounded

That his friends were genuine.

He wasn’t honored, may be—

For his songs of praise were slim,—

Yet I never knew a baby

That wouldn’t crow for him;

I never knew a mother

But urged a kindly claim

 

Happy Little Cripple, The

ePub

I’M thist a little cripple boy, an’ never goin’ to grow

An’ get a great big man at all!—’cause Aunty told me so.

When I was thist a baby onc’t, I falled out of the bed

An’ got “The Curv’ture of the Spine”—’at’s what the Doctor said.

I never had no Mother nen—fer my Pa runned away

An’ dassn’t come back here no more—’cause he was drunk one day

An’ stobbed a man in thish-ere town, an’ couldn’t pay his fine!

An’ nen my Ma she died—an’ I got “Curv’ture of the Spine!”

I’m nine years old! An’ you can’t guess how much I weigh, I bet!—

Last birthday I weighed thirty-three!—An’ I weigh thirty yet!

I’m awful little fer my size—I’m purt’ nigh littler ’nan

Some babies is!—an’ neighbers all calls me “The Little Man!”

An’ Doc one time he laughed an’ said: “I ’spect, first thing you know,

You’ll have a little spike-tail coat an’ travel with a show!”

An’ nen I laughed—till I looked round an’ Aunty was a-cryin’—

Sometimes she acts like that, ’cause I got “Curv’ture of the Spine.”

 

Rider of the Knee, The

ePub

KNIGHTLY Rider of the Knee

Of Proud-prancing Unclery!

Gaily mount, and wave the sign

Of that mastery of thine.

Pat thy steed and turn him free,

Knightly Rider of the Knee!

Sit thy charger as a throne—

Lash him with thy laugh alone:

Sting him only with the spur

Of such wit as may occur,

Knightly Rider of the Knee,

In thy shriek of ecstasy.

Would, as now, we might endure,

Twain as one—thou miniature

Ruler, at the rein of me—

Knightly Rider of the Knee!

 

Down Around the River

ePub

NOON-TIME an’ June-time, down around the river!

Have to furse with ’Lizey Ann—but lawzy! I fer-give her!

Drives me off the place, an’ says ’at all ’at she’s a-wishin’,

Land o’ gracious! time’ll come I’ll git enough o’ fishin’!

Little Dave, a-choppin’ wood, never ’pears to notice;

Don’t know where she’s hid his hat, er keerin’ where his coat is,—

Specalatin’, more’n like, he haint a-goin’ to mind me,

An’ guessin’ where, say twelve o’clock, a feller’d likely find me!

Noon-time an’ June-time, down around the river!

Clean out o’ sight o’ home, an’ skulkin’ under kivver

Of the sycamores, jack-oaks, an’ swamp-ash an’ ellum—

Idies all so jumbled up, you kin hardly tell ’em!—

Tired, you know, but lovin’ it, an’ smilin’ jes’ to think ’at

Any sweeter tiredness you’d fairly want to drink it!

Tired o’ fishin’—tired o’ fun—line out slack an’ slacker—

All you want in all the world’s a little more tobacker!

 

At Aunty’s House

ePub

ONE time, when we’z at Aunty’s house—

’Way in the country!—where

They’s ist but woods—an’ pigs, an’ cows—

An’ all’s out-doors an’ air!—

An’ orchurd-swing; an’ churry-trees—

An’ churries in ’em!—Yes, an’ these-

Here red-head birds steals all they please,

An’ tetch ’em ef you dare!—

W’y, wunst, one time, when we wuz there,

We et out on the porch!

Wite where the cellar-door wuz shut

The table wuz; an’ I

Let Aunty set by me an’ cut

My vittuls up—an’ pie.

’Tuz awful funny!—I could see

The red-heads in the churry-tree;

An’ bee-hives, where you got to be

So keerful, goin’ by;—

An’ “Comp’ny” there an’ all!—an’ we—

We et out on the porch!

An’ I ist et p’surves an’ things

’At Ma don’t ’low me to—

An’ chickun-gizzurds—(don’t like wings

Like Parunts does! do you?)

An’ all the time, the wind blowed there,

 

Days Gone By, The

ePub

O THE days gone by! O the days gone by!

The apples in the orchard, and the pathway through the rye;

The chirrup of the robin, and the whistle of the quail

As he piped across the meadows sweet as any nightingale;

When the bloom was on the clover, and the blue was in the sky,

And my happy heart brimmed over, in the days gone by.

In the days gone by, when my naked feet were tripped

By the honeysuckle tangles where the water-lilies dipped,

And the ripples of the river lipped the moss along the brink,

Where the placid-eyed and lazy-footed cattle came to drink,

And the tilting snipe stood fearless of the truant’s wayward cry

And the splashing of the swimmer, in the days gone by.

O the days gone by! O the days gone by!

The music of the laughing lip, the lustre of the eye;

The childish faith in fairies, and Aladdin’s magic ring—

The simple, soul-reposing, glad belief in everything,—

When life was like a story, holding neither sob nor sigh,

 

Bumblebee, The

ePub

YOU better not fool with a Bumblebee!—

Ef you don’t think they can sting—you’ll see!

They’re lazy to look at, an’ kindo’ go

Buzzin’ an’ bummin’ aroun’ so slow,

An’ ac’ so slouchy an’ all fagged out,

Danglin’ their legs as they drone about

The hollyhawks ’at they can’t climb in

’Ithout ist a-tumble-un out agin!

Wunst I watched one climb clean ’way

In a jim’son-blossom, I did, one day,—

An’ I ist grabbed it—an’ nen let go—

An’ “Ooh-ooh! Honey! I told ye so!”

Says The Raggedy Man; an’ he ist run

An’ pullt out the stinger, an’ don’t laugh none,

An’ says: “They has ben folks, I guess,

’At thought I wuz predjudust, more er less,—

Yit I still muntain ’at a Bumblebee

Wears out his welcome too quick fer me!”

 

Boy Lives on Our Farm, The

ePub

THE BOY lives on our Farm, he’s not

Afeard o’ horses none!

An’ he can make ’em lope, er trot,

Er rack, er pace, er run.

Sometimes he drives two horses, when

He comes to town an’ brings

A wagon-full o’ ’taters nen,

An’ roastin’-ears an’ things.

Two horses is “a team,” he says,

An’ when you drive er hitch,

The right-un’s a “near-horse,” I guess

Er “off”—I don’t know which—

The Boy lives on our Farm, he told

Me, too, ’at he can see,

By lookin’ at their teeth, how old

A horse is, to a T!

I’d be the gladdest boy alive

Ef I knowed much as that,

An’ could stand up like him an’ drive,

An’ ist push back my hat,

Like he comes skallyhootin’ through

Our alley, with one arm

A-wavin’ Fare-ye-well! to you—

The Boy lives on our Farm!

 

Squirtgun Uncle Maked Me, The

ePub

UNCLE Sidney, when he wuz here,

Maked me a squirtgun out o’ some

Elder-bushes ’at growed out near

Where wuz the brickyard—’way out clear

To where the toll-gate come!

So when we walked back home again,

He maked it, out in our woodhouse where

Wuz the old workbench, an’ the old jack-plane,

An’ the old ’pokeshave, an’ the tools all lay’n’

Ist like he wants ’em there.

He sawed it first with the old hand-saw;

An’ nen he peeled off the bark, an’ got

Some glass an’ scraped it; an’ told ’bout Pa,

When he wuz a boy an’ fooled his Ma,

An’ the whippin’ ’at he caught.

Nen Uncle Sidney, he took an’ filed

A’ old arn ramrod; an’ one o’ the ends

He screwed fast into the vise; an’ smiled,

Thinkin’, he said, o’ when he wuz a child,

’Fore him an’ Pa wuz mens.

He punched out the peth, an’ nen he put

A plug in the end with a hole notched through;

Nen took the old drawey-knife an’ cut

 

Old Tramp, The

ePub

A OLD Tramp slep’ in our stable wunst,

An’ The Raggedy Man he caught

An’ roust him up, an’ chased him off

Clean out through our back lot!

An’ th’ Old Tramp hollered back an’ said,—

“You’re a purty man!—You air!—

With a pair o’ eyes like two fried eggs,

An’ a nose like a Bartlutt pear!”

 

Old Aunt Mary’s

ePub

WAS N’T it pleasant, O brother mine,

In those old days of the lost sunshine

Of youth—when the Saturday’s chores were through,

And the “Sunday’s wood” in the kitchen, too,

And we went visiting, “me and you,”

Out to Old Aunt Mary’s?

It all comes back so clear to-day!

Though I am as bald as you are gray—

Out by the barn-lot, and down the lane,

We patter along in the dust again,

As light as the tips of the drops of the rain,

Out to Old Aunt Mary’s!

We cross the pasture, and through the wood

Where the old gray snag of the poplar stood,

Where the hammering “red-heads” hopped awry,

And the buzzard “raised” in the “clearing” sky

And lolled and circled, as we went by

Out to Old Aunt Mary’s.

And then in the dust of the road again;

And the teams we met, and the countrymen;

And the long highway, with sunshine spread

As thick as butter on country bread,

Our cares behind, and our hearts ahead

 

Winter Fancies

ePub

I

WINTER without

And warmth within;

The winds may shout

And the storm begin;

The snows may pack

At the window pane,

And the skies grow black,

And the sun remain

Hidden away

The livelong day—

But here—in here is the warmth of May!

Swoop your spitefullest

Up the flue,

Wild Winds—do!

What in the world do I care for you?

O delightfullest

Weather of all,

Howl and squall,

And shake the trees till the last leaves fall!

The joy one feels,

In an easy chair,

Cocking his heels

In the dancing air

That wreathes the rim of a roaring stove

Whose heat loves better than hearts can love,

Will not permit

The coldest day

To drive away

The fire in his blood, and the bliss of it!

Then blow, Winds, blow!

And rave and shriek,

And snarl and snow

Till your breath grows weak—

While here in my room

I ’m as snugly shut

 

Runaway Boy, The

ePub

WUNST I sassed my Pa, an’ he

Won’t stand that, an’ punished me,—

Nen when he was gone that day,

I slipped out an’ runned away.

I tooked all my copper-cents,

An’ clumbed over our back fence

In the jimpson-weeds ’at growed

Ever’where all down the road.

Nen I got out there, an’ nen

I runned some—an’ runned again

When I met a man ’at led

A big cow ’at shooked her head.

I went down a long, long lane

Where was little pigs a-play’n’;

An’ a grea’-big pig went “Booh!”

An’ jumped up, an’ skeered me too.

Nen I scampered past, an’ they

Was somebody hollered “Hey!”

An’ I ist looked ever’where,

An’ they was nobody there.

I Want to, but I’m ’fraid to try

To go back. . . . An’ by-an’-by

Somepin’ hurts my throat inside—

An’ I want my Ma—an’ cried.

Nen a grea’-big girl come through

Where’s a gate, an’ telled me who

Am I? an’ ef I tell where

 

Little Coat, The

ePub

HERE’S his ragged “roundabout”

Turn the pockets inside out:

See; his pen-knife, lost to use,

Rusted shut with apple-juice;

Here, with marbles, top and string,

Is his deadly “devil-sling,”

With its rubber, limp at last

As the sparrows of the past!

Beeswax—buckles—leather straps—

Bullets, and a box of caps,—

Not a thing of all, I guess,

But betrays some waywardness—

E’en these tickets, blue and red,

For the Bible-verses said—

Such as this his mem’ry kept—

“Jesus wept.”

Here’s a fishing hook-and-line,

Tangled up with wire and twine,

And dead angle-worms, and some

Slugs of lead and chewing-gum,

Blent with scents that can but come

From the oil of rhodium.

Here—a soiled, yet dainty note,

That some little sweetheart wrote,

Dotting,—“Vine grows round the stump,”

And—“My sweetest sugar lump!”

Wrapped in this—a padlock key

Where he’s filed a touch-hole—see!

 

Impetuous Resolve, An

ePub

WHEN little Dickie Swope’s a man,

He’s go’ to be a Sailor;

An’ little Hamey Tincher, he’s

A-go’ to be a Tailor:

Bud Mitchell, he’s a-go’ to be

A stylish Carriage-Maker;

An’ when I grow a grea’-big man,

I’m go’ to be a Baker!

An’ Dick’ll buy his sailor-suit

O’ Hame; and Hame’ll take it

An’ buy as fine a double-rigg

As ever Bud can make it:

An’ nen all three’ll drive roun’ fer me

An’ we’ll drive off togevver,

A-slingin’ pie-crust ’long the road

Ferever an’ ferever!

 

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