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Nothin' To Say

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



Nothin' to say, my daughter! Nothin' at all to say!
Gyrls that's in love, I've noticed, ginerly has their way!
Yer mother did, afore you, when her folks objected to me--
Yit here I am, and here you air; and yer mother--where is she?

You look lots like yer mother: Purty much same in size;
And about the same complected; and favor about the eyes:
Like her, too, about _livin_' here,--because _she_ couldn't stay:
It'll 'most seem like you was dead--like her!--But I hain't got nothin' to say!

She left you her little Bible--writ yer name acrost the page--
And left her ear bobs fer you, ef ever you come of age.
I've allus kep' 'em and gyuarded 'em, but ef yer goin' away--
Nothin' to say, my daughter! Nothin' at all to say!

You don't rikollect her, I reckon? No; you wasn't a year old then!
And now yer--how old _air_ you? W'y, child, not '_twenty_!' When?
And yer nex' birthday's in Aprile? and you want to git married that day?
... I wisht yer mother was livin'!--But--I hain't got nothin' to say!

Twenty year! and as good a gyrl as parent ever found!
There's a straw ketched onto yer dress there--I'll bresh it off--turn round.
(Her mother was jes' twenty when us two run away!)
Nothin' to say, my daughter! Nothin' at all to say!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:13 min read
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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…

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