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"That-Air Young-Un" by James Whitcomb Riley

The following is the complete text of James Whitcomb Riley's "That-Air Young-Un." Our presentation of this classic poem comes from The Works of James Whitcomb Riley: Vol. V -- Rhymes of Childhood (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.


Visit these other works by James Whitcomb Riley
"Autumn"
"The Bear Story"
"Blind"
"Chairley Burke's in Town"
The Champion Checker-Player of Ameriky
"A Child's Home Long Ago"
"Christine Braibry"
A Large Collection of his Short Poems
"Das Krist Kindel"
"Dead Selves"
"Doc Sifers"
"Dot Leedle Boy"
"Down to the Capital"
"Erasmus Wilson"
"Ezra House"
"Farmer Whipple--Bachelor"
"Grandfather Squeers"
"He Called Her In"
"The Hoosier Folk-Child"
"How John Quit the Farm"
"Jack the Giant-Killer"
"Kingry's Mill"
"Last Christmas Was a Year Ago"
"Little Johnts's Chris'mus"

"Little Mandy's Christmas Tree"
"Maymie's Story of Red Riding-Hood"
"Mr. What's-His-Name"
"My Philosofy"
"Mylo Jones's Wife"
"A Nest-Egg"
"A New Year's Time at Willards's"
"Old John Clevenger on Buckeyes"
"An Old Sweetheart"
"The Old Swimmin'-Hole"
"On the Banks o' Deer Crick"
"The Pathos of Applause"
Poems from "Rhymes of Childhood"
"The Preacher's Boy"
"Regardin' Terry Hut"
"Romancin'"
"The Rossville Lecture Course"
"The Runaway Boy"
"This Man Jones"
"Thoughts fer the Discuraged Farmer"
"To My Old Friend, William Leachman"
"Tradin' Joe"
"What Chris'mas Fetched the Wigginses"

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 outdoor 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.


"That-Air Young-Un" by James Whitcomb Riley

THAT-AIR YOUNG-UN

BY JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY


That-air young-un ust to set
By the crick here day by day.--
Watch the swallers dip and wet
Their slim wings and skoot away;
Watch these little snipes along
The low banks tilt up and down
'Mongst the reeds, and hear the song
Of the bullfrogs croakin' roun':
Ust to set here in the sun
Watchin' things, and listenun,
'Peared-like, mostly to the roar
Of the dam below, er to
That-air riffle nigh the shore
Jes acrost from me and you.
Ust to watch him from the door
Of the mill.--'Ud rigg him out
With a fishin'-pole and -line--
Dig worms fer him--nigh about
Jes spit on his bait!--but he
Never keered much, 'pearantly,
To ketch fish!--He 'druther fine
Out some sunny place, and set
Watchin' things, with droopy head,
And "a-listenun," he said--
"Kindo' listenun above
The old crick to what the wet
Warter was a-talkin' of!"

Jevver hear sich talk as that?
Bothered
Mother more'n me
What the child was cipher'n' at.--
Come home onc't and said 'at he
Knowed what the snake-feeders thought
When they grit their wings; and knowed
Turkle-talk, when bubbles riz
Over where the old roots growed
Where he th'owed them pets o' his--
Little turripuns he caught
In the County Ditch and packed
In his pockets days and days!--
Said he knowed what goslin's quacked--
Could tell what the killdees sayes,
And grasshoppers, when they lit
In the crick and "minnies" bit
Off their legs.--"But,
blame!" sayes he,
Sorto' lookin' clean above
Mother's head and on through me--
(And them eyes!--I see 'em yet!)--
"
Blame!" he sayes, "ef I kin see,
Er make
out, jes what the wet
Warter is a-talkin' of!"

Made me
nervous! Mother, though,
Said best not to scold the child--
The Good Bein' knowed.--And so
We was only rickonciled
When he'd be asleep.--And then,
Time, and time, and time again,
We've watched over him, you know--
Her a-sayin' nothin'--jes
Kindo' smoothin' back his hair,
And, all to herse'f, I guess,
Studyin' up some kind o' prayer
She ain't tried yet.--Onc't she said,
Cotin' Scriptur', "'He,'" says she,
In a solemn whisper, "'He
Givuth His beloved sleep!'"
And jes then I heerd the rain
Strike the shingles, as I turned
Res'less to'rds the wall again.
Pity strong men dast to weep!--
Specially when up above
Thrash! the storm comes down, and you
Feel the midnight plum soaked through
Heart and soul, and wunder, too,
What the warter's talkin' of!
. . . . .

Found his hat 'way down below
Hinchman's Ford.--'Ves' Anders he
Rid and fetched it. Mother she
Went
wild over that, you know--
Hugged it! kissed it!--
Turribul!
My hopes then was all gone too. . . .
Brung him in, with both hands full
O' warter-lilies--'peared-like new-
Bloomed fer him--renched whiter still
In the clear rain, mixin' fine
And finer in the noon sunshine. . . .
Winders of the old mill looked
On him where the hill-road crooked
In on through the open gate. . . .
Laid him on the old settee
On the porch there. Heerd the great
Roarin' dam acrost--and we
Heerd a crane cry in amongst
The sycamores--and then a dove
Cutterin' on the mill-roof--then
Heerd the crick, and thought again,
"
Now what's it a-talkin' of?"


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