Classic and Contemporary Poetry
THE SQUIRT-GUN UNCLE MAKED ME, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY Poet's Biography
First Line: Uncle sidney, when he was here
Last Line: An' it 'ud ist squirt an' squirt!
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
UNCLE SIDNEY, when he was here,
Maked me a squirt-gun out o' some
Elder-bushes 'at growed out near
Where wuz the brick-yard -- 'way out clear
To where the Toll-Gate come!
So when we walked back home again,
He maked it, out in our wood-house where
Wuz the old work-bench, an' the old jack-plane,
An' the old 'poke-shave, an' the tools all lay'n'
Ist like he wants 'em there.
He sawed it first with the old handsaw;
An' nen he peeled off the bark, an' got
Some glass an' scraped it; an' told 'bout Pa,
When he wuz a boy an' fooled his Ma,
An' the whippin' 'at he caught.
Nen Uncle Sidney, he took an' filed
A' old arn ramrod; an' one o' the ends
He screwed fast into the vise; an' smiled,
Thinkin', he said, o' when he wuz a child,
'Fore him an' Pa wuz mens.
He punched out the peth, an' nen he putt
A plug in the end with a hole notched through;
Nen took the old drawey-knife an' cut
An' maked a hande 'at shoved clean shut
But ist where yer hand held to.
An' he wropt th'uther end with some string an' white
Piece o' the sleeve of a' old tored shirt;
An' nen he showed me to hold it tight,
An' suck in the water an' work it right. --
An' it 'ud ist squirt an' squirt!
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