Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE RHYMES OF IRONQUILL, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY

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THE RHYMES OF IRONQUILL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I've allus held - till jest of late
Last Line: As rhymes of ironquill!
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets; Rhyme

I'VE allus held -- till jest of late --
That Poetry and me
Got on best, not to 'sociate --
That is, most poetry;
But t'other day my son-in-law,
Milt -- be'n in town to mill --
Fetched home a present-like, fer Ma, --
The Rhymes of Ironquill.

Milt ust to teach; and, 'course, his views
Ranks over common sense; --
That's biased me, till I refuse
'Most all he rickommends. --
But Ma she read and read along
And cried, like women will,
About that "Washerwoman's Song"
In Rhymes of Ironquill.

And then she made me read the thing,
And found my specs and all:
And I jest leant back there -- i jing! --
My cheer ag'inst the wall --
And read and read, and read and read,
All to myse'f -- ontil
I lit the lamp and went to bed
With Rhymes of Ironquill!

I propped myse'f up there, and -- durn! --
I never shet an eye
Till daylight! -- hogged the whole concern
Tee-total, mighty nigh! --
I'd sigh sometimes, and cry sometimes,
Er laugh jest fit to kill --
Clean captured-like with them-air rhymes
O' that-air Ironquill!

Read that-un 'bout old "Marmaton"
'At hain't be'n ever "sized"
In Song before -- and yit's rolled on
Jest same as 'postrophized! --
Putt me in mind o' our old crick
At Freeport -- and the mill --
And Hinchman's Ford -- till jest homesick --
Them Rhymes of Ironquill!

Read that-un, too, 'bout "Game o' Whist,"
And likenin' Life to fun
Like that -- and playin' out yer fist,
However cards is run:
And them "Tobacker-Stemmers' Song"
They sung with sich a will
Down 'mongst the misery and wrong --
In Rhymes of Ironquill.

And old John Brown, who broke the sod
Of freedom's faller field
And sowed his heart there, thankin' God
Pore slaves would git the yield --
Rained his last tears fer them and us
To irrigate and till
A crop of Song as glorious
As Rhymes of Ironquill.

And -- sergeant, died there in the War,
'At talked, out of his head . . .
He went "back to the Violet Star,"
I'll bet -- jest like he said! --
Yer Wars kin riddle bone and flesh,
And blow out brains, and spill
Life-blood, -- but Somepin' lives on, fresh
As Rhymes of Ironquill!

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