A Celebration of Women Writers

"James Whitcomb Riley." by Norah M. Holland (1876-1925)
From: Spun-Yarn And Spindrift. by Norah M. Holland. London & Toronto: J. M. Dent & Sons; New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1918, p. 73.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

[Page 73] 

JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY

WAVE your hand to him! Let him go
  Back from the dusty paths we stray,
To the land where his boyhood's rivers flow;
  He is not dead–he is just away,
Gone to laugh at 'Lizabuth Ann,
And swap old yarns with the Raggedy Man.

Hush! Do you hear, in the distance dim,
  Faint and sweet as an elfin tune,
Orphant Annie is calling him,
  Counting him in with the old-time rune–
Intry, mintry, cutery, corn,
Apple blossom and apple thorn.

Wave your hand to him–call good-bye!
  Faintly his answer echoes back;
Voices of children eagerly
  Lure him on by the fairy track
To the wonder-world, where all hearts are gay;
He is not dead, he is just–away.

[Page 74]

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom