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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Nothin’ to Say

By James Whitcomb Riley (1849–1916)

NOTHIN’ to say, my daughter! nothin’ at all to say!—

G’yirls that’s in love, I’ve noticed, ginerly 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 her 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 allus kep’ ’em and g’yarded ’em, but ef yer goin’ away—

Nothin’ to say, my daughter! nothin’ at all to say!

You don’t rikollect 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 April? and you want to get married that day?—

I wisht yer mother was livin’!—but—I hain’t got nothin’ to say!

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

There’s a straw ketched onto 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!