Old Man's Nursery Rhyme

A poem by James Whitcomb Riley

I


In the jolly winters
Of the long-ago,
It was not so cold as now -
O! No! No!
Then, as I remember,
Snowballs to eat
Were as good as apples now.
And every bit as sweet!


II


In the jolly winters
Of the dead-and-gone,
Bub was warm as summer,
With his red mitts on, -
Just in his little waist-
And-pants all together,
Who ever hear him growl
About cold weather?


III


In the jolly winters
Of the long-ago -
Was it HALF so cold as now?
O! No! No!
Who caught his death o' cold,
Making prints of men
Flat-backed in snow that now's
Twice as cold again?


IV


In the jolly winters
Of the dead-and-gone,
Startin' out rabbit-huntin' -
Early as the dawn, -
Who ever froze his fingers,
Ears, heels, or toes, -
Or'd 'a' cared if he had?
Nobody knows!


V


Nights by the kitchen-stove,
Shellin' white and red
Corn in the skillet, and
Sleepin' four abed!
Ah! the jolly winters
Of the long-ago!
We were not as old as now -
O! No! No!

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