Our Hired Girl

Original Text: 
James Whitcomb Riley, Complete Works, Memorial edn. in 10 vols. (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1916): VI, 1462-63. PS 2700 F16 Robarts Library.
1Our hired girl, she's 'Lizabuth Ann;
2   An' she can cook best things to eat!
5An' nen she salts it all on top
7   An' stoop an' slide it, ist as slow,
9   An' git all spilled; nen bakes it, so
10   It's custard-pie, first thing you know!
11         An' nen she'll say,
12         "Clear out o' my way!
13   They's time fer work, an' time fer play!
14      Take yer dough, an' run, child, run!
15      Er I cain't git no cookin' done!"
19   I play out on our porch an' talk
20To Th' Raggedy Man 'at mows our lawn;
21An' he says, "Whew!" an' nen leans on
22   His old crook-scythe, and blinks his eyes,
25   It 'pears like I smell custard-pies!"
26         An' nen he'll say,
27         "Clear out o' my way!
28   They's time fer work, an' time fer play!
29      Take yer dough, an' run, child, run!
30      Er she cain't git no cookin' done!"
33An' it wuz night, an' Ma an' me
34   An' Pa went wher' the "Social" met, --
35An' nen when we come home, an' see
36A light in the kitchen door, an' we
39   An' I marched in, an' 'Lizabuth Ann
41         Better say,
42         "Clear out o' the way!
43   They's time fer work, an' time fer play!
44      Take the hint, an' run, child, run!
45      Er we cain't git no courtin' done!"


3] ist: just. Back to Line
4] somepin' 'at's: something that's. Back to Line
6] nen: then. Back to Line
8] 'twon't: it won't. Back to Line
16] 'tends: pretends. Back to Line
17] walk the chalk: "walk the line," behave themselves, be very careful. Back to Line
18] er: or. Back to Line
23] swawn: `swalm' (swoon, faint away in surprise?). Back to Line
24] Ef: if. Back to Line
31] Wunst: once. Back to Line
32] et: ate (a polite form in Britain even today). Back to Line
37] a maccordeum: an accordion.
Lan'-: expression of surprise. Back to Line
38] beau: handsome man (French), boyfriend. Back to Line
40] parchin': toasting. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Century Magazine (December 1890)
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.