The Jolly Miller

A poem by James Whitcomb Riley

[Restored Romaunt.]

It was a Jolly Miller lived on the River Dee;
He looked upon his piller, and there he found a flea:
"O Mr. Flea! you have bit' me,
And you shall shorely die!"
So he scrunched his bones against the stones -
And there he let him lie!

Twas then the Jolly Miller he laughed and told his wife,
And she laughed fit to kill her, and dropped her carvin'-knife! -
"O Mr. Flea!" "Ho-ho!" "Tee-hee!"
They both laughed fit to kill,
Until the sound did almost drownd
The rumble of the mill!

"Laugh on, my Jolly Miller! and Missus Miller, too! -
But there's a weeping-willer will soon wave over you!"
The voice was all so awful small -
So very small and slim! -
He durst' infer that it was her,
Ner her infer 'twas him!

That night the Jolly Miller, says he, "It's Wifey dear,
That cat o' yourn, I'd kill her! - her actions is so queer, -
She rubbin' 'ginst the grindstone-legs,
And yowlin' at the sky -
And I 'low the moon haint greener
Than the yaller of her eye!"

And as the Jolly Miller went chuckle-un to bed,
Was Somepin jerked his piller from underneath his head!
"O Wife," says he, on-easi-lee,
"Fetch here that lantern there!"
But Somepin moans in thunder tones,
"You tetch it ef you dare!"

'Twas then the Jolly Miller he trimbled and he quailed -
And his wife choked until her breath come back, 'n' she wailed!
And "O!" cried she, "it is the Flea,
All white and pale and wann -
He's got you in his clutches, and
He's bigger than a man!"

"Ho! ho! my Jolly Miller," (fer 'twas the Flea, fer shore!)
"I reckon you'll not rack my bones ner scrunch 'em any more!"
And then the Ghost he grabbed him clos't,
With many a ghastly smile,
And from the doorstep stooped and hopped
About four hundred mile!

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