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Poem by James Whitcomb Riley


My Fiddle


My fiddle?--Well, I kindo' keep her handy, don't you know!
Though I ain't so much inclined to tromp the strings and switch the bow
As I was before the timber of my elbows got so dry,
And my fingers was more limber-like and caperish and spry;
    Yit I can plonk and plunk and plink,
      And tune her up and play,
    And jest lean back and laugh and wink
      At ev'ry rainy day!

My playin' 's only middlin'--tunes I picked up when a boy--
The kindo'-sorto' fiddlin' that the folks calls "cordaroy";
"The Old Fat Gal," and "Rye-straw," and "My Sailyor's on the Sea,"
Is the old cowtillions _I_ "saw" when the ch'ice is left to me;
    And so I plunk and plonk and plink,
      And rosum-up my bow
    And play the tunes that makes you think
      The devil's in your toe!

I was allus a romancin', do-less boy, to tell the truth,
A-fiddlin' and a-dancin', and a-wastin' of my youth,
And a-actin' and a-cuttin'-up all sorts o' silly pranks
That wasn't worth a botton of anybody's thanks!
    But they tell me, when I ust to plink
      And plonk and plunk and play,
    My music seemed to have the kink
      O' drivin' cares away!

That's how this here old fiddle's won my hart's indurin' love!
From the strings acrost her middle, to the schreechin' keys above--
From her "apern," over "bridge," and to the ribbon round her throat,
She's a wooin', cooin' pigeon, singin' "Love me" ev'ry note!
    And so I pat her neck, and plink
      Her strings with lovin' hands,--
    And, list'nin' clos't, I sometimes think
      She kindo' understands!



James Whitcomb Riley


James Whitcomb Riley's other poems:
  1. Thoughts Fer the Discuraged Farmer
  2. The Old Swimmin'-Hole
  3. A Summer's Day
  4. Wortermelon Time
  5. My Philosofy


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