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Best Famous James Whitcomb Riley Poems

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Written by Henry Van Dyke | Create an image from this poem

To James Whitcomb Riley

 On his "Book of Joyous Children"

Yours is a garden of old-fashioned flowers;
Joyous children delight to play there;
Weary men find rest in its bowers,
Watching the lingering light of day there.
Old-time tunes and young love's laughter Ripple and run among the roses; Memory's echoes, murmuring after, Fill the dusk when the long day closes.
Simple songs with a cadence olden-- These you learned in the Forest of Arden: Friendly flowers with hearts all golden-- These you borrowed from Eden's garden.
This is the reason why all men love you; Truth to life is the charm of art: Other poets may soar above you-- You keep close to the human heart.


Written by Paul Laurence Dunbar | Create an image from this poem

JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY

(From a Westerner's Point of View.)
No matter what you call it,
Whether genius, or art,
He sings the simple songs that come
The closest to your heart.
Fur trim an' skillful phrases,
I do not keer a jot;
'Tain't the words alone, but feelin's,
That tech the tender spot.
An' that's jest why I love him,—
Why, he's got sech human feelin',
An' in ev'ry song he gives us,
You kin see it creepin', stealin',
Through the core the tears go tricklin',
But the edge is bright an' smiley;
I never saw a poet
Like that poet Whitcomb Riley.
His heart keeps beatin' time with our'n
In measures fast or slow;
He tells us jest the same ol' things
Our souls have learned to know.
He paints our joys an' sorrers
In a way so stric'ly true,
That a body can't help knowin'
That he has felt them too.
If there's a lesson to be taught,
He never fears to teach it,
An' he puts the food so good an' low
That the humblest one kin reach it.
Now in our time, when poets rhyme
For money, fun, or fashion,
'Tis good to hear one voice so clear
That thrills with honest passion.
So let the others build their songs,
An' strive to polish highly,—
There's none of them kin tech the heart
Like our own Whitcomb Riley.