Our Hired Girl

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



1     Our hired girl, she's 'Lizabuth Ann;
2       An' she can cook best things to eat!
3     She ist puts dough in our pie-pan,
4       An' pours in somepin' 'at's good an' sweet;
5     An' nen she salts it all on top
6     With cinnamon; an' nen she'll stop
7       An' stoop an' slide it, ist as slow,
8     In th' old cook-stove, so's 'twon't slop
9       An' git all spilled; nen bakes it, so
10     It's custard-pie, first thing you know!
11         An' nen she'll say,
12         "Clear out o' my way!
13     They's time fer work, an' time fer play!
14       Take yer dough, an' run, child, run!
15       Er I cain't git no cookin' done!"

16   When our hired girl 'tends like she's mad,
17     An' says folks got to walk the chalk
18   When she's around, er wisht they had!
19     I play out on our porch an' talk
20   To Th' Raggedy Man 'at mows our lawn;
21   An' he says, "Whew!" an' nen leans on
22     His old crook-scythe, and blinks his eyes,
23   An' sniffs all 'round an' says, "I swawn!
24     Ef my old nose don't tell me lies,
25     It 'pears like I smell custard-pies!"
26         An' nen he'll say,
27         "Clear out o' my way!
28     They's time fer work, an' time fer play!
29       Take yer dough, an' run, child, run!
30       Er she cain't git no cookin' done!"

31   Wunst our hired girl, when she
32     Got the supper, an' we all et,
33   An' it wuz night, an' Ma an' me
34     An' Pa went wher' the "Social" met, --
35   An' nen when we come home, an' see
36   A light in the kitchen door, an' we
37     Heerd a maccordeun, Pa says, "Lan'-
38   O'-Gracious! who can her beau be?"
39     An' I marched in, an' 'Lizabuth Ann
40     Wuz parchin' corn fer The Raggedy Man!
41         Better say,
42         "Clear out o' the way!
43     They's time fer work, an' time fer play!
44       Take the hint, an' run, child, run!
45       Er we cain't git no courtin' done!"

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:52 min read
144

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABABCCDCDDEEEFF GXGXXXHAHHEEEFF IJIJIIAIAAEEEFF
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,905
Words 363
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 15, 15, 15

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

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