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James Whitcomb Riley's "On the Banks o' Deer Crick"

The following is the complete text of James Whitcomb Riley's "On the Banks o' Deer Crick." Our presentation of this classic poem comes from The Works of James Whitcomb Riley: Vol. VII -- Green Fields and Running Brooks (1899). The various books, short stories and poems we offer are presented free of charge with absolutely no advertising as a public service from Internet Accuracy Project.

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The Champion Checker-Player of Ameriky
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A Large Collection of his Short Poems
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"Ezra House"
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"Grandfather Squeers"
"He Called Her In"
"The Hoosier Folk-Child"
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"Last Christmas Was a Year Ago"
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"Little Mandy's Christmas Tree"
"Maymie's Story of Red Riding-Hood"
"Mr. What's-His-Name"
"My Philosofy"
"Mylo Jones's Wife"
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"A New Year's Time at Willards's"
"Old John Clevenger on Buckeyes"
"An Old Sweetheart"
"The Old Swimmin'-Hole"
"The Pathos of Applause"
Poems from "Rhymes of Childhood"
"The Preacher's Boy"
"Regardin' Terry Hut"
"The Rossville Lecture Course"
"The Runaway Boy"
"That-Air Young-Un"
"This Man Jones"
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To see all available titles by other authors, drop by our index of free books alphabetized by author or arranged alphabetically by title.

Potential uses for the free books, stories and prose we offer
* Rediscovering an old favorite book, short story or poem.
* Bibliophiles expanding their collection of public domain ebooks at no cost.
* Teachers trying to locate a free online copy of a short story or poem for use in the classroom.

NOTE: We try to present these classic literary works as they originally appeared in print. As such, they sometimes contain adult themes, offensive language, typographical errors, and often utilize unconventional, older, obsolete or intentionally incorrect spelling and/or punctuation conventions.

"On the Banks o' Deer Crick" by James Whitcomb Riley



On the banks o' Deer Crick! There's the place fer me!--
Worter slidin' past ye jes as clair as it kin be:--
See yer shadder in it, and the shadder o' the sky,
And the shadder o' the buzzard as he goes a-lazin' by;
Shadder o' the pizen-vines, and shadder o' the trees--
And I purt'-nigh said the shadder o' the sunshine and the breeze!
Well!--I never seen the ocean ner I never seen the sea.--
On the banks o' Deer Crick's grand enough fer me!

On the banks o' Deer Crick--mil'd er two from town--
'Long up where the mill-race comes a-loafin' down,--
Like to git up in there--'mongst the sycamores--
And watch the worter at the dam, a-frothin' as she pours:
Crawl out on some old log, with my hook and line,
Where the fish is jes so thick you kin see 'em shine
As they flicker round yer bait, coaxin' you to jerk,
Tel yer tired ketchin' of 'em, mighty nigh, as work!

On the banks o' Deer Crick!--Allus my delight
Jes to be around there--take it day er night!--
Watch the snipes and killdees foolin' half the day--
Er these-'ere little worter-bugs skootin' ever'way!--
Snake-feeders glancin' round, er dartin' out o' sight;
And dewfall, and bullfrogs, and lightnin'-bugs at night--
Stars up through the tree-tops--er in the crick below,--
And smell o' mussrat through the dark clean from the old b'y-o!

Er take a tromp, some Sund'y, say, 'way up to "Johnson's Hole,"
And find where he's had a fire, and hid his fishin'-pole:
Have yer "dog-leg," with ye and yer pipe and "cut-and-dry"--
Pocketful o' corn-bred, and slug er two o' rye. . . .
Soak yer hide in sunshine and waller in the shade--
Like the Good Book tells us--"where there're none to make afraid!"
Well!--I never seen the ocean ner I never seen the sea.--
On the banks o' Deer Crick's grand enough fer me!

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