Classic and Contemporary Poetry
THE OLD HOME BY THE MILL, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY Poet's Biography
First Line: This is 'the old home by the mill' - fer we still call it so
Last Line: I'd jest crawl in my grave and pull the green grass over me!
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Graves; Home; Mills And Millers; Spring; Tombs; Tombstones
THIS is "The Old Home by the Mill" -- fer we still call it so,
Although the old mill, roof and sill, is all gone long ago,
The old home, though, and the old folks -- the old spring, and a few
Old cattails, weeds and hartychokes, is left to welcome you!
Here, Marg'et! -- fetch the man a tin to drink out of! Our spring
Keeps kindo'-sorto' cavin' in, but don't "taste" anything!
She's kindo' agin', Marg'et is -- "the old process" -- like me,
All ham-stringed up with rhumatiz, and on in seventy-three.
Jest me and Marg'et lives alone here -- like in long ago;
The children all putt off and gone, and married, don't you know?
One's millin' 'way out West somewhare; two other miller-boys
In Minnyopolis they air; and one's in Illinoise.
The oldest gyrl -- the first that went -- married and died right here;
The next lives in Winn's Settlement -- fer purt' nigh thirty year!
And youngest one -- was allus fer the old home here -- but no! --
Her man turns in and he packs her 'way off to Idyho!
I don't miss them like Marg'et does -- 'cause I got her, you see;
And when she pines for them -- that's 'cause she's only jest got me!
I laugh, and joke her 'bout it all. -- But talkin' sense, I'll say,
When she was tuk so bad last Fall, I laughed then t'other way!
I hain't so favor'ble impressed 'bout dyin'; but ef I
Found I was only second-best when us two come to die,
I'd 'dopt the "new process," in full, ef Marg'et died, you see, --
I'd jest crawl in my grave and pull the green grass over me!
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