Nothin' to Say

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Nothin' to Say  (1883) 
by James Whitcomb Riley

Nothin' to say, my daughter! Nothin' at all to say!

Gyrls that's in love, I've noticed, giner'ly has their way!

Yer mother did, afore you, when her folks objected to me -

Yit here I am and here you air! and yer mother - where is she?

  

You look lots like yer mother; purty much same in size;

And about the same complected; and favor about the eyes:

Like her, too, about livin' here, because she couldn't stay;

It'll `most seem like you was dead like her! - but I hain't got nothin' to say!

  

She left you her little Bible -writ yer name acrost the page -

And left her ear-bobs fer you, ef ever you come of age;

I've alluz kep' `em and gyuarded 'em, but ef yer goin' away -

Nothin' to say, my daughter! Nothin' at all to say!

  

You don't rickollect her, I reckon? No: you wasn't a year old then!

And now yer - how old air you? W'y child, not "twenty"! When?

And yer nex' birthday's in Aprile? and you want to git married that day?

I wisht yer mother was livin'! - but I hain't got nothin' to say!

  

Twenty year! and as good a gyrl as parent ever found!

There's a straw ketched on to yer dress there - I'll bresh it off - turn round.

(Her mother was jes' twenty when us two run away.)

Nothin' to say, my daughter! Nothin' at all to say!


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1916, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.