Tuesday, May 14, 2013


James Whitcomb Riley, the Hoosier poet, was recently asked to name his favorite poem,
and responded by giving the following bit of fugitive verse, written many years ago, the
author of which is unknown:

He'd nothing but his violin.
  I’d nothing but my song,
But we were wed when skies were blue
  And summer days were long.
And when we rested by the hedge,
  The robins came and told
How they had dared to woo and win
  When early spring was cold.

We sometimes supped on dewberries,
            Or slept among the hay,
But oft the farmers' wives at eve
            Came out to hear us play
The rare old tunes- the dear old tunes­-
            We could not starve for long
While my man had his violin
            And I my sweet love song.

The world has aye gone well with us,
            Old man, since we were one­-
Our homeless wandering down the lanes­-
            It long ago was done.
But those who wait for gold or gear,
            For houses and for kine,
Till youth's sweet spring grows brown and sere.
            And love and beauty tine,
Will never know the joy of hearts
            That met without a fear,
When you had but your violin
            And I a song, my dear.
                         Urbana (0.) Journal.

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