A Barefoot Boy

Original Text: 

James Whitcomb Riley, Complete Works, Memorial edn. in 10 vols. (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1916): IV, 915. PS 2700 F16 Robarts Library.

1A barefoot boy! I mark him at his play --
2    For May is here once more, and so is he, --
3    His dusty trousers, rolled half to the knee,
4And his bare ankles grimy, too, as they:
6    Of feverish stripes, hint vividly to me
7    Of woody pathways winding endlessly
8Along the creek, where even yesterday
9He plunged his shrinking body -- gasped and shook --
10    Yet called the water "warm," with never lack
11Of joy. And so, half enviously I look
12    Upon this graceless barefoot and his track, --
13    His toe stubbed -- ay, his big toe-nail knocked back
14Like unto the clasp of an old pocketbook.

Notes

5] nettle: prickly, stinging plant. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1883
Publication Notes: 

Indianapolis Journal (May 12, 1883)

RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.
Rhyme: 
Form: