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Lines To Perfesser John Clark Ridpath Post by :aarce Category :Poems Author :James Whitcomb Riley Date :November 2011 Read :3503

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Lines To Perfesser John Clark Ridpath

LINES TO PERFESSER JOHN CLARK RIDPATH
A. M., LL. D. T-Y-TY!

(Cumposed by A Old Friend of the Fambily sence 'way back in the Forties, when they Settled nigh Fillmore, Putnam County, this State, whare John was borned and growed up, you might say, like the wayside flower.)


Your neghbors in the country, whare you come from, hain't fergot!--
We knowed you even better than your own-self, like as not.
We profissied your runnin'-geers 'ud stand a soggy load
And pull her, purty stiddy, up a mighty rocky road:
We been a-watchin' your career sence you could write your name--
But way you writ it first, I'll say, was jest a burnin' shame!--
Your "J. C." in the copybook, and "Ridpath"--mercy-sakes!--
Quiled up and tide in dubble bows, lookt like a nest o' snakes!--
But you could read it, I suppose, and kindo' gloted on
A-bein' "J. C. Ridpath" when we only called you "John."

But you'd work 's well as fool, and what you had to do was done:
We've watched you at the woodpile--not the woodshed--wasent none,--
And snow and sleet, and haulin', too, and lookin' after stock,
And milkin', nights, and feedin' pigs,--then turnin' back the clock,
So's you could set up studyin' your 'Rethmatic, and fool
Your Parents, whilse a-piratin' your way through winter school!
And I've heerd tell--from your own folks--you've set and baked your face
A-readin' Plutark Slives all night by that old fi-er-place.--
Yit, 'bout them times, the blackboard, onc't, had on it, I de-clare,
"Yours truly, J. Clark Ridpath."--And the teacher--left it thare!

And they was other symptums, too, that pinted, plane as day,
To nothin' short of College!--and one was the lovin' way
Your mother had of cheerin' you to efforts brave and strong,
And puttin' more faith in you, as you needed it along:
She'd pat you on the shoulder, er she'd grab you by the hands,
And laugh sometimes, er cry sometimes.--They's few that understands
Jest what theyr mother's drivin' at when they act thataway;--
But I'll say this fer you, John-Clark,--you answered, night and day,
To ev'ry trust and hope of hers--and half your College fame
Was battled fer and won fer her and glory of her name.

The likes of you at College! But you went thare. How you paid
Your way nobody's astin'--but you worked,--you hain't afraid,--
Your clothes was, more'n likely, kindo' out o' style, perhaps,
And not as snug and warm as some 'at hid the other chaps;--
But when it come to Intullect--they tell me yourn was dressed
A leetle mite superber-like than any of the rest!
And there you stayed--and thare you've made your rickord, fare and square--
Tel now its Fame 'at writes your name, approvin', ev'rywhare--
Not jibblets of it, nuther,--but all John Clark Ridpath, set
Plum at the dashboard of the whole-endurin' Alfabet!


(The end)
James Whitcomb Riley's poem: Lines To Perfesser John Clark Ridpath

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