Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LISPER, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY

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THE LISPER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Elsie mingus lisps, she does!
Last Line: "ner thup thoop so awful loud!"
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Children; Speech Disorders; Childhood; Stuttering; Muteness

ELSIE MINGUS lisps, she does!
She lives wite acrosst from us
In Miz. Ayers'uz house 'at she
Rents part to the Mingusuz. --
Yes, an' Elsie plays wiv me.
Elsie lisps so, she can't say
Her own name, ist anyway! --
She say "Elthy" -- like they wuz
Feathers on her words, an' they
Ist stick on her tongue like fuzz.

My! she's purty, though! -- An' when
She lisps, w'y, she's purty nen!
When she telled me, wunst, her doll
Wuz so "thweet," an' I p'ten'
I lisp too, -- she laugh' -- 'at's all! --

She don't never git mad none --
'Cause she know I'm ist in fun. --
Elsie she ain't one bit sp'iled. --
Of all childerns -- ever' one --
She's the ladylikest child! --

My Ma say she is! One time
Elsie start to say the rhyme
"Thing a thong o' thixpenth" -- Whee!
I ist yell! An' Ma say I'm
Unpolite as I can be!

Wunst I went wiv Ma to call
On Elsie's Ma, an' eat an' all;
An' nen Elsie, when we've et,
An' we're playin' in the hall,
Elsie say: It's etikett

Fer young gentlemens, like me,
Eatin' when they's company,
Not to never ever crowd
Down their food, ner "thip their tea
Ner thup thoop so awful loud!"

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