On The Banks O' Deer Crick.

A poem by James Whitcomb Riley

On the banks o' Deer Crick! There's the place fer me! -
Worter slidin' past ye jes as clair as it kin be: -
See yer shadder in it, and the shadder o' the sky,
And the shadder o' the buzzard as he goes a-lazein' by;
Shadder o' the pizen-vines, and shadder o' the trees -
And I purt'-nigh said the shadder o' the sunshine and the breeze!
Well - I never seen the ocean ner I never seen the sea:
On the banks o' Deer Crick's grand enough fer me!

On the banks o' Deer Crick - mild er two from town -
'Long up where the mill-race comes a-loafin' down, -
Like to git up in there - 'mongst the sycamores -
And watch the worter at the dam, a-frothin' as she pours:
Crawl out on some old log, with my hook and line,
Where the fish is jes so thick you kin see 'em shine
As they flicker round yer bait, coaxin' you to jerk,
Tel yer tired ketchin' of 'em, mighty nigh, as work!

On the banks o' Deer Crick! - Allus my delight
Jes to be around there - take it day er night! -
Watch the snipes and killdees foolin' half the day -
Er these-'ere little worter-bugs skootin' ever'way! -
Snakefeeders glancin' round, er dartin' out o' sight;
And dew-fall, and bullfrogs, and lightnin'-bugs at night -
Stars up through the tree-tops - er in the crick below, -
And smell o' mussrat through the dark clean from the old b'y-o!

Er take a tromp, some Sund'y, say, 'way up to "Johnson's Hole,"
And find where he's had a fire, and hid his fishin' pole;
Have yer "dog-leg," with ye and yer pipe and "cut-and-dry" -
Pocketful o' corn-bred, and slug er two o' rye, -
Soak yer hide in sunshine and waller in the shade -
Like the Good Book tells us - "where there're none to make afraid!"
Well! - I never seen the ocean ner I never seen the sea -
On the banks o' Deer Crick's grand enough fer me!

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