Classic and Contemporary Poetry
UNCLE WILLIAM'S PICTURE, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY Poet's Biography
First Line: Uncle william, last july
Last Line: Smile, and wipe my eyes.
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Death; Family Life; July; Uncles; Dead, The; Relatives
UNCLE WILLIAM, last July,
Had his picture took.
"Have it done, of course," says I,
"Jes' the way you look!"
(All dressed up, he was, fer the
Barbecue and jubilee
The old settlers helt.) So he --
Last he had it took.
Lide she'd coaxed and begged and pled,
Sence her mother went;
But he'd cough and shake his head
At all argyment;
Mebby clear his th'oat and say,
"What's my likeness 'mount to, hey,
Now with Mother gone away
From us, like she went?"
But we projicked round, tel we
Got it figgered down
How we'd git him, Lide and me,
Drivin' into town;
Bragged how well he looked and fleshed
Up around the face, and freshed
With the morning air; and breshed
His coat-collar down.
All so providential! W'y,
Now he's dead and gone,
Picture 'pears so lifelike I
Want to start him on
Them old tales he ust to tell,
And old talks so sociable,
And old songs he sung so well --
'Fore his voice was gone!
Face is sad to Lide, and they's
Sorrow in the eyes --
Kisses it sometimes, and lays
It away and cries.
I smooth down her hair, and 'low
He is happy, anyhow,
Bein' there with Mother now, --
Smile, and wipe my eyes.
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