Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

Joney

James Whitcomb Riley 1849 (Greenfield) – 1916 (Indianapolis)



Had a hare-lip-- Joney had:
Spiled his looks, and Joney knowed it:
Fellers tried to bore him, bad--
But ef ever he got mad,
He kep' still and never showed it.
'Druther have his mouth all pouted
And split up, and like it wuz,
Than the ones 'at laughed about it.
Purty is as purty does!

Had to listen ruther clos't
'Fore you knowed 'what he wuz givin'
You; and yet, without no boast,
Joney he wuz jest the most
Entertainin' talker livin'!
Take the Scriptur's and run through 'em,
Might say, like a' auctioneer,
And 'ud argy and review 'em
'At wuz beautiful to hear!

Hare-lip and inpediment,
Both wuz bad, and both ag'in' him--
But the old folks where he went,
'Preared like, knowin' his intent,
'Scused his mouth fer what wuz in him.
And the childern all loved Joney--
And he loved 'em back, you bet--!
Putt their arms around him-- on'y
None had ever kissed him yet!

In young company, someway,
Boys 'ud grin at one another
On the sly; and girls 'ud lay
Low, with nothin' much to say,
Er leave Joney with their mother.
Many and many a time he's fetched 'em
Candy by the paper sack,
And turned right around and ketched 'em
Makin mouths behind his back!

S'prised sometimes, the slurs he took--.
Chap said onc't his mouth looked sorter
Like a fish's mouth 'ud look
When he'd be'n jerked off the hook
And plunked back into the worter--.
Same durn feller-- it's su'prisin',
But it's facts-- 'at stood and cherred
From the bank that big babtizin'
'Pike-bridge accident occurred--!

Cherred for Joney while he give
Life to little childern drowndin'!
Which wuz fittenest to live--
Him 'at cherred, er him 'at div'
And saved thirteen lives...? They found one
Body, three days later, floated
Down the by-o, eight mile' south,
All so colored-up and bloated--
On'y knowed him by his mouth!

Had a hare-lip-- Joney had--
Folks 'at filed apast all knowed it--.
Them 'at ust to smile looked sad,
But ef he thought good er bad,
He kep' still and never showed it.
'Druther have that mouth, all pouted
And split up, and like it wuz,
Than the ones 'at laughed about it--.
Purty is as purty does!

Font size:
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:58 min read
81 Views

James Whitcomb Riley

James Whitcomb Riley was an American writer, poet, and best-selling author. During his lifetime he was known as the "Hoosier Poet" and "Children's Poet" for his dialect works and his children's poetry respectively. more…

All James Whitcomb Riley poems | James Whitcomb Riley Books

FAVORITE (1 fan)

Discuss this James Whitcomb Riley poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "Joney" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 24 Oct. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/20938/joney>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    AA Milne wrote: "A bear, however hard he tries..."
    • A. "can never stop telling lies"
    • B. "has very very tired eyes"
    • C. "grows tubby with no exercise"
    • D. "stinks and attracts the flies"

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »