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A Child-World by James Whitcomb Riley

Produced by David Starner, Maria Cecilia Lim and PG Distributed Proofreaders

A CHILD-WORLD

James Whitcomb Riley

A CHILD-WORLD

_The Child-World--long and long since lost to view-- A Fairy Paradise!-- How always fair it was and fresh and new-- How every affluent hour heaped heart and eyes With treasures of surprise!

Enchantments tangible: The under-brink Of dawns that launched the sight Up seas of gold: The dewdrop on the pink, With all the green earth in it and blue height Of heavens infinite:

The liquid, dripping songs of orchard-birds-- The wee bass of the bees,-- With lucent deeps of silence afterwards; The gay, clandestine whisperings of the breeze And glad leaves of the trees.

* * * * *

O Child-World: After this world--just as when I found you first sufficed My soulmost need--if I found you again, With all my childish dream so realised, I should not be surprised._

CONTENTS

PROEM

THE CHILD-WORLD

THE OLD-HOME FOLKS

ALMON KEEPER

NOEY BIXLER

"A NOTED TRAVELER"

A PROSPECTIVE VISIT

AT NOEY'S HOUSE

"THAT LITTLE DOG"

THE LOEHRS AND THE HAMMONDS

THE HIRED MAN AND FLORETTY

THE EVENING COMPANY

MAYMIE'S STORY OF RED RIDING HOOD

LIMITATIONS OF GENIUS

MR. HAMMOND'S PARABLE--THE DREAMER

FLORETTY'S MUSICAL CONTRIBUTION

BUD'S FAIRY-TALE

A DELICIOUS INTERRUPTION

NOEY'S NIGHT-PIECE

COUSIN RUFUS' STORY

BEWILDERING EMOTIONS

ALEX TELLS A BEAR-STORY

THE PATHOS OF APPLAUSE

TOLD BY "THE NOTED TRAVELER"

HEAT-LIGHTNING

UNCLE MART'S POEM

"LITTLE JACK JANITOR"

FINALE

THE CHILD-WORLD

A Child-World, yet a wondrous world no less, To those who knew its boundless happiness. A simple old frame house--eight rooms in all-- Set just one side the center of a small But very hopeful Indiana town,-- The upper-story looking squarely down Upon the main street, and the main highway From East to West,--historic in its day, Known as The National Road--old-timers, all Who linger yet, will happily recall It as the scheme and handiwork, as well As property, of "Uncle Sam," and tell Of its importance, "long and long afore Railroads wuz ever _dreamp_' of!"--Furthermore, The reminiscent first Inhabitants Will make that old road blossom with romance Of snowy caravans, in long parade Of covered vehicles, of every grade From ox-cart of most primitive design, To Conestoga wagons, with their fine Deep-chested six-horse teams, in heavy gear, High names and chiming bells--to childish ear And eye entrancing as the glittering train Of some sun-smitten pageant of old Spain. And, in like spirit, haply they will tell You of the roadside forests, and the yell Of "wolfs" and "painters," in the long night-ride, And "screechin' catamounts" on every side.-- Of stagecoach-days, highwaymen, and strange crimes, And yet unriddled mysteries of the times Called "Good Old." "And why 'Good Old'?" once a rare Old chronicler was asked, who brushed the hair Out of his twinkling eyes and said,--"Well John, They're 'good old times' because they're dead and gone!"


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