Knee-Deep In June by James Whitcomb Riley

I

Tell you what I like the best–
‘Long about knee-deep in June,
‘Bout the time strawberries melts
On the vine,–some afternoon
Like to jes’ git out and rest,
And not work at nothin’ else’

II

Orchard’s where I’d ruther be–
Needn’t fence it in fer me!–
Jes’ the whole sky overhead,
And the whole airth underneath–
Sorto’ so’s a man kin breathe
Like he ort, and kindo’ has
Elbow-room to keerlessly
Sprawl out len’thways on the grass
Where the shadders thick and soft
As the kivvers on the bed
Mother fixes in the loft
Allus, when they’s company!

III

Jes’ a-sorto’ lazin’ there–
S’lazy, ‘at you peek and peer
Through the wavin’ leaves above,
Like a feller ‘at’s in love
And don’t know it, ner don’t keer!
Ever’thing you hear and see
Got some sort o’ interest–
Maybe find a bluebird’s nest
Tucked up there conveenently
Fer the boy ‘at’s ap’ to be
Up some other apple-tree!
Watch the swallers skootin’ past
‘Bout as peert as you could ast,
Er the Bob-white raise and whiz
Where some other’s whistle is

IV

Ketch a shadder down below,
And look up to find the crow–
Er a hawk,–away up there,
‘Pearantly FROZE in the air!–
Hear the old hen squawk, and squat
Over ever’ chick she’s got,
Suddent-like!–and she knows where
That-air hawk is, well as you!–
You jes’ bet yer life she do!–
Eyes a-glitterin’ like glass,
Waitin’ till he makes a pass!

V

Pee-wees’ singin’, to express
My opinion, ‘s second class,
Yit you’ll hear ’em more er less;
Sapsucks gittin’ down to biz,
Weedin’ out the lonesomeness;
Mr. Bluejay, full o’ sass,
In them base-ball clothes o’ his,
Sportin’ round the orchard jes’
Like he owned the premises!
Sun out in the fields kin sizz,
But flat on yer back, I guess,
In the shade’s where glory is!
That’s jes’ what I’d like to do
Stiddy fer a year er two!

See also  To Celia by Charles Cotton

VI

Plague! ef they ain’t somepin’ in
Work ‘at kindo’ goes ag’in’
My convictions!–‘long about
Here in June especially!–
Under some old apple-tree,
Jes’ a-restin’ through and through
I could git along without
Nothin’ else at all to do
Only jes’ a-wishin’ you
Wuz a-gittin’ there like me,
And June was eternity!

VII

Lay out there and try to see
Jes’ how lazy you kin be!–
Tumble round and souse yer head
In the clover-bloom, er pull
Yer straw hat acrost yer eyes
And peek through it at the skies,
Thinkin’ of old chums ‘at’s dead,
Maybe, smilin’ back at you
In betwixt the beautiful
Clouds o’ gold and white and blue.
Month a man kin railly love
June, you know, I’m talkin’ of!

VIII

March ain’t never nothin’ new!
Aprile’s altogether too
Brash fer me! and May–I jes’
‘Bominate its promises,
Little hints o’ sunshine and
Green around the timber-land–
A few blossoms, and a few
Chip-birds, and a sprout er two,–
Drap asleep, and it turns in
‘Fore daylight and SNOWS ag’in!–
But when JUNE comes–Clear my th’oat
With wild honey!–Rench my hair
In the dew! and hold my coat!
Whoop out loud! and th’ow my hat!–
June wants me, and I’m to spare!
Spread them shadders anywhere,
I’ll git down and waller there,
And obleeged to you at that!

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