Classic and Contemporary Poetry
WRITIN' BACK TO THE HOMEFOLKS, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY Poet's Biography
First Line: My dear old friends - it jes' beats
Last Line: And madaline and mother.
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): April; Family Life; Letters; Love; Relatives
MY dear old friends -- It jes' beats all,
The way you write a letter
So's ever' last line beats the first,
And ever' next-un's better! --
W'y, ever' fool-thing you putt down
You make so interestin',
A feller, readin' of 'em all,
Can't tell which is the best-un.
It's all so comfortin' and good,
'Pears-like I almost hear ye
And git more sociabler, you know,
And hitch my cheer up near ye
And jes' smile on ye like the sun
Acrosst the whole per-rairies
In Aprile when the thaw's begun
And country couples marries.
It's all so good-old-fashioned like
To talk jes' like we're thinkin',
Without no hidin' back o' fans
And giggle-un and winkin',
Ner sizin' how each other's dressed --
Like some is allus doin', --
"Is Marthy Ellen's basque be'n turned
Er shore-enough a new-un!" --
Er "ef Steve's city-friend hain't jes'
'A leetle kind o' sort o''" --
Er "wears them-air blame' eye-glasses
Jes' 'cause he hadn't ort to?" --
And so straight on, dad-libitum,
Tel all of us feels, someway,
Jes' like our "comp'ny" wuz the best
When we git up to come 'way!
That's why I like old friends like you, --
Jes' 'cause you're so abidin'. --
Ef I wuz built to live "fer keeps,"
My principul residin'
Would be amongst the folks 'at kep'
Me allus thinkin' of 'em,
And sort o' eechin' all the time
To tell 'em how I love 'em. --
Sich folks, you know, I jes' love so
I wouldn't live without 'em,
Er couldn't even drap asleep
But what I dreamp' about 'em, --
And ef we minded God, I guess
We'd all love one another
Jes' like one famb'ly, -- me and Pap
And Madaline and Mother.
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