Classic and Contemporary Poetry
THE RUNAWAY BOY, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY Poet's Biography
First Line: Wunst I sassed my pa, an' he
Last Line: I won't run away no more!
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Family Life; Punishment; Wandering & Wanderers; Relatives
WUNST I sassed my Pa, an' he
Won't stand that, an' punished me, --
Nen when he wuz gone that day,
I slipped out an' runned away.
I tooked all my copper-cents,
An' clumbed over our back fence
In the jimpson-weeds 'at growed
Ever'where all down the road.
Nen I got out there, an' nen
I runned some -- an' runned again,
When I met a man 'at led
A big cow 'at shooked her head.
I went down a long, long lane
Where wuz little pigs a-playin';
An' a grea'-big pig went "Booh!"
An' jumped up, an' skeered me too.
Nen I scampered past, an' they
Was somebody hollered "Hey!"
An' I ist looked ever'where,
An' they wuz nobody there.
I want to, but I'm 'fraid to try
To go back. . . . An' by an' by
Somepin' hurts my th'oat inside --
An' I want my Ma -- an' cried.
Nen a grea'-big girl come through
Where's a gate, an' telled me who
Am I? an' ef I tell where
My home's at she'll show me there.
But I couldn't ist but tell
What's my name; an' she says "well,"
An' ist tooked me up an' says
"She know where I live, she guess."
Nen she telled me hug wite close
Round her neck! -- an' off she goes
Skippin' up the street! An' nen
Purty soon I'm home again.
An' my Ma, when she kissed me,
Kissed the big girl too, an' she
Kissed me -- ef I p'omise shore
I won't run away no more!
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