Classic and Contemporary Poetry
THEM FLOWERS, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY Poet's Biography
First Line: Take a feller 'at's sick and laid up
Last Line: Is a-leakin' -- I'm blamed ef they ain't!
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Flowers; Roses; Youth
TAKE a feller 'at's sick and laid up on the shelf,
All shaky, and ga'nted, and pore --
Jes' all so knocked out he can't handle hisself
With a stiff upper-lip any more;
Shet him up all alone in the gloom of a room
As dark as the tomb, and as grim,
And then take and send him some roses in bloom,
And you can have fun out o' him!
You've ketched him 'fore now -- when his liver was sound
And his appetite notched like a saw --
A-mockin' you, maybe, fer romancin' round
With a big posy-bunch in yer paw;
But you ketch him, say, when his health is away,
And he's flat on his back in distress,
And then you kin trot out yer little bokay
And not be insulted, I guess!
You see, it's like this, what his weaknesses
Them flowers makes him think of the days
Of his innocent youth, and that mother o' his,
And the roses that she us't to raise: --
So here, all alone with the roses you send --
Bein' sick and all trimbly and faint, --
My eyes is -- my eyes is -- my eyes is -- old friend --
Is a-leakin' -- I'm blamed ef they ain't!
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