Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WAY IT WUZ, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY



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THE WAY IT WUZ, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Las' july - and, I persume
Last Line: As me and you is!
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): July; Past


LAS' July -- and, I persume,
'Bout as hot
As the old Gran'-jury room
Whare they sot! --
Fight 'twixt Mike and Dock Mc-Greff. . . .
'Pears to me jes' like as ef
I'd a-dremp' the whole blame thing --
Allus ha'nts me roun' the gizzard
When they's nightmares on the wing
And a feller's blood's jes' friz!
Seed the row from A to Izzard --
'Cause I wuz a-standin' as clos't to 'em
As me and you is!

Tell you the way it wuz --
And I don't want to see,
Like some fellers does,
When they's goern to be
Any kind o' fuss --
On'y makes a rumpus wuss
Fer to interfere
When theyr dander's riz --
Might as lif to cheer!
But I wuz a-standin' as clos't to 'em
As me and you is!

I wuz kind o' strayin'
Past the blame saloon --
Heerd some fiddler playin'
That old "Hee-cup tune!"
I'd stopped-like, you know,
Fer a minit er so,
And wuz jes' about
Settin' down, when -- Jeemses-whizz! --
Whole durn winder-sash fell out!
And thare laid Dock McGreff, and Mike
A-straddlin' him, all bloody-like,
And both a-gittin' down to biz! --
And I wuz a-standin' as clos't to 'em
As me and you is!

I wuz the on'y man aroun' --
(Durn old-fogey town!
'Peared more like, to me,
Sund'y than Saturd'y!)
Dog come 'crost the road
And tuk a smell
And putt right back:
Mishler driv by 'ith a load
O' cantalo'pes he couldn't sell --
Too mad, 'i jack!
To even ast
What wuz up, as he went past!
Weather most outrageous hot! --
Fairly hear it sizz
Roun' Dock and Mike -- tel Dock he shot, --
And Mike he slacked that grip o' his
And fell, all spraddled out. Dock riz
'Bout half up, a-spittin' red,
And shuck his head. . . .
And I wuz a-standin' as clos't to 'em
As me and you is!

And Dock he says,
A-whisperin'-like, --
"It hain't no use
A-tryin'! -- Mike
He's jes' ripped my daylights loose! --
Git that blame-don fiddler to
Let up, and come out here -- You
Got some burryin' to do, --
Mike makes one, and, I expects,
'Bout ten seconds, I'll make two!"
And he drapped back, whare he'd riz,
'Crost Mike's body, black and blue,
Like a great big letter X! --
And I wuz a-standin' as clos't to 'em
As me and you is!





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