Classic and Contemporary Poetry
THE HOOSIER IN EXILE, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY Poet's Biography
First Line: The hoosier in exile - a toast
Last Line: "the hoosier in exile!"
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Dreams; Earth; Exiles; Nightmares; World
THE Hoosier in Exile -- a toast
That by its very sound
Moves us, at first, to tears almost,
And sympathy profound;
But musing for a little space,
We lift the glass and smile,
And poise it with a royal grace --
The Hoosier in Exile!
The Hoosier in Exile, forsooth!
For though his steps may roam
The earth's remotest bounds, in truth
His heart is ever home!
O loyal still to every tie
Of native fields and streams,
His boyhood friends, and paths whereby
He finds them in his dreams!
Though he may fare the thronging maze
Of alien city streets,
His thoughts are set in grassy ways
And woodlands' cool retreats:
Forever, clear and sweet above
The traffic's roar and din,
In breezy groves he hears the dove,
And is at peace within.
When newer friends and generous hands
Advance him, he returns
Due gratefulness, yet, pausing, stands
As one who strangely yearns
To pay still further thanks, but sighs
To think he knows not where,
Till -- like as life -- with misty eyes
He sees his mother there.
The Hoosier in Exile? Ah, well,
Accept the phrase, but know
The Hoosier heart must ever dwell
Where orchard blossoms grow
The whitest, apples reddest, and,
In cornlands, mile on mile,
The old homesteads forever stand --
"The Hoosier in Exile!"
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