Classic and Contemporary Poetry
THE MULBERRY TREE, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY Poet's Biography
First Line: O, it's many's the scenes which is dear
Last Line: They go racin' acrost fer the mulberry tree.
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Dreams; Memory; Mulberry Trees; Youth; Nightmares
O IT'S many's the scenes which is dear to my mind
As I think of my childhood so long left behind;
The home of my birth, with its old puncheon-floor,
And the bright morning-glorys that growed round the door;
The warped clabboard roof whare the rain it run off
Into streams of sweet dreams as I laid in the loft,
Countin' all of the joys that was dearest to me,
And a-thinkin' the most of the mulberry tree.
And to-day as I dream, with both eyes wide-awake,
I can see the old tree, and its limbs as they shake,
And the long purple berries that rained on the ground
Whare the pastur' was bald whare we trommpt it around.
And again, peekin' up through the thick leafy shade,
I can see the glad smiles of the friends when I strayed
With my little bare feet from my own mother's knee
To foller them off to the mulberry tree.
Leanin' up in the forks, I can see the old rail,
And the boy climbin' up it, claw, tooth, and toenail,
And in fancy can hear, as he spits on his hands,
The ring of his laugh and the rip of his pants.
But that rail led to glory, as certin and shore
As I'll never climb thare by that rout' any more --
What was all the green lauruls of Fame unto me,
With my brows in the boughs of the mulberry tree!
Then it's who can fergit the old mulberry tree tree
That he knowed in the days when his thoughts was as free
As the flutterin' wings of the birds that flew out
Of the tall wavin' tops as the boys come about?
O, a crowd of my memories, laughin' and gay,
Is a-climbin' the fence of that pastur' to-day,
And a-pantin' with joy, as us boys ust to be,
They go racin' acrost fer the mulberry tree.
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