My Bachelor Chum

A poem by James Whitcomb Riley

A corpulent man is my bachelor chum,
With a neck apoplectic and thick -
An abdomen on him as big as a drum,
And a fist big enough for the stick;
With a walk that for grace is clear out of the case,
And a wobble uncertain - as though
His little bow-legs had forgotten the pace
That in youth used to favor him so.

He is forty, at least; and the top of his head
Is a bald and a glittering thing;
And his nose and his two chubby cheeks are as red
As three rival roses in spring;

His mouth is a grin with the corners tucked in,
And his laugh is so breezy and bright
That it ripples his features and dimples his chin
With a billowy look of delight.

He is fond of declaring he "don't care a straw" -
That "the ills of a bachelor's life
Are blisses, compared with a mother-in-law
And a boarding-school miss for a wife!"
So he smokes and he drinks, and he jokes and he winks,
And he dines and he wines, all alone,
With a thumb ever ready to snap as he thinks
Of the comforts he never has known.

But up in his den - (Ah, my bachelor chum!) -
I have sat with him there in the gloom,
When the laugh of his lips died away to become
But a phantom of mirth in the room.
And to look on him there you would love him, for all
His ridiculous ways, and be dumb
As the little girl-face that smiles down from the wall
On the tears of my bachelor chum.

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'My Bachelor Chum' by James Whitcomb Riley

comments powered by Disqus

Home | Search | About this website | Contact | Privacy Policy