James Whitcomb Riley poems

James Whitcomb Riley(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)
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A Barefoot Boy

- by James Whitcomb Riley 129

A barefoot boy! I mark him at his play --
For May is here once more, and so is he, --
His dusty trousers, rolled half to the knee,
And his bare ankles grimy, too, as they:
Cross-hatchings of the nettle, in array
Of feverish stripes, hint vividly to me
Of woody pathways winding endlessly
Along the creek, where even yesterday
He plunged his shrinking body -- gasped and shook --
Yet called the water 'warm,' with never lack
Of joy. And so, half enviously I look
Upon this graceless barefoot and his track, --
His toe stubbed -- ay, his big toe-nail knocked back
Like unto the clasp of an old pocketbook.

A Glimpse Of Pan

- by James Whitcomb Riley 107

I caught but a glimpse of him. Summer was here.
And I strayed from the town and its dust and heat.
And walked in a wood, while the noon was near,
Where the shadows were cool, and the atmosphere
Was misty with fragrances stirred by my feet
From surges of blossoms that billowed sheer
Of the grasses, green and sweet.

And I peered through a vista of leaning tree,
Tressed with long tangles of vines that swept
To the face of a river, that answered these
With vines in the wave like the vines in the breeze,
Till the yearning lips of the ripples crept
And kissed them, with quavering ecstasies,
And wistfully laughed and wept

And there, like a dream in swoon, I swear
I saw Pan lying--, his limbs in the dew
And the shade, and his face in the dazzle and glare
Of the glad sunshine; while everywhere,
Over across, and around him blew
Filmy dragon-flies hither and there,
And little white butterflies, two and two,
In eddies of odorous air.

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