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Indiana's Poet: James Whitcomb Riley


James Whitcomb Riley published a book of poetry entitled Naghborly Poems in 1891. His subtitle was "On Friendship, Grief and Farm-Life." One of this Indiana poet's most charming poems is "The First Bluebird." Here it is:

Just rain and snow! And rain again!

And dribble! drip! and blow!

Then snow! and thaw! And slush! and then-

Some more rain and snow!

This morning I was most a feared

To wake up-when, I jing!

I seen the sun shine out and heerd

The first bluebird of spring!

Mother she'd raised the winder some;

And in acrost the orchard come,

Soft as an angel's wing,

A breezy, treezy, beesy hum,

Too sweet for anything!

The winter's shroud was rent a-part-

The sun bust forth in glee,

And when that bluebird sung, my hart

Hopped out o'bed with me!

Riley also wrote about flowers. So here is a flowery stanza:

Some sings of the lily, and daisy, and rose,

And the pansies and pinks that the summertime throws,

In the green grassy lap of the medder that lays

Blinkin' up at the skyes through the sunshiny days…

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