Classic and Contemporary Poetry
REGARDIN' TERRY HUT, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY Poet's Biography
First Line: Sence I tuk holt o' gibbses' churn
Last Line: Around the streets o' terry hut!
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Indiana; Towns
SENCE I tuk holt o' Gibbses' Churn
And be'n a-handlin' the concern,
I've traveled round the grand old State
Of Indiany, lots, o' late! --
I've canvassed Crawferdsville and sweat
Around the town o' Layfayette;
I've saw a many a County-seat
I ust to think was hard to beat:
At constant dreenage and expense
I've worked Greencastle and Vincennes --
Drapped out o' Putnam into Clay,
Owen, and on down thataway
Plum into Knox, on the back-track
Fer home ag'in -- and glad I'm back! --
I've saw these towns, as I say -- but
They's none 'at beats old Terry Hut!
It's more'n likely you'll insist
I claim this 'cause I'm predjudist,
Bein' born'd here in ole Vygo
In sight o' Terry Hut; -- but no,
Yer clean dead wrong! -- and I maintain
They's nary drap in ary vein
O' mine but what's as free as air
To jes' take issue with you there! --
'Cause, boy and man, fer forty year,
I've argied ag'inst livin' here,
And jawed around and traded lies
About our lack o' enterprise,
And tuk and turned in and agreed
All other towns was in the lead,
When -- drat my melts! -- they couldn't cut
No shine a-tall with Terry Hut!
Take, even, statesmanship, and wit,
And ginerel git-up-and-git,
Old Terry Hut is sound clean through! --
Turn old Dick Thompson loose, er Dan
Vorehees -- and where's they any man
Kin even hold a candle to
Their eloquence? -- And where's as clean
A fi-nan-seer as Rile' McKeen --
Er puorer, in his daily walk,
In railroad er in racin' stock!
And there's 'Gene Debs -- a man 'at stands
And jes' holds out in his two hands
As warm a heart as ever beat
Betwixt here and the Jedgment Seat! --
All these is reasons why I putt
Sich bulk o' faith in Terry Hut.
So I've come back, with eyes 'at sees
My faults, at last, -- to make my peace
With this old place, and truthful' swear --
Like Gineral Tom Nelson does, --
"They hain't no city anywhere
On God's green earth lays over us!"
Our city govament is grand --
"Ner is they better farmin'-land
Sun-kissed" -- as Tom goes on and says --
"Er dower'd with sich advantages!"
And I've come back, with welcome tread,
From journeyin's vain, as I have said,
To settle down in ca'm content,
And cuss the towns where I have went,
And brag on ourn, and boast and strut
Around the streets o' Terry Hut!
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