The Bumblebee

Original Text: 
James Whitcomb Riley, Complete Works, Memorial edn. in 10 vols. (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1916): VI, 1423. PS 2700 F16 Robarts Library.
1You better not fool with a Bumblebee! --
2Ef you don't think they can sting -- you'll see!
3They're lazy to look at, an' kind o' go
4Buzzin' an' bummin' aroun' so slow,
6Danglin' their legs as they drone about
7The hollyhawks 'at they can't climb in
12An' "Ooh-ooh! Honey! I told ye so!"
14An' pullt out the stinger, an' don't laugh none,
15An' says: "They has be'n folks, I guess,
16'At thought I wuz predjudust, more er less, --
18Wears out his welcome too quick fer me!"


5] ac': act.
slouchy an' all fagged out: slumping and exhausted. Back to Line
8] Unless ("without') just tumbling out again. Back to Line
9] Wunst: once. Back to Line
10] jimson-blossom: jimsonweed, a poisonous member of the nightshade family with big trumpet-like flowers. Back to Line
11] nen: then. Back to Line
13] The Raggedy Man: one of Riley's Hoosier characters, the helping hand who dresses poorly but entertains the children wisely and kindly. Back to Line
17] muntain: maintain. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Rhymes of Childhood (1890)
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.