On the Banks of Deer Crick

James Whitcomb Riley

  On the banks o' Deer Crick!  There's the place fer me!--
  Worter slidin' past ye jes as clair as it kin be:--
  See yer shadder in it, and the shadder o' the sky,
  And the shadder o' the buzzard as he goes a-lazein' by;
  Shadder o' the pizen-vines, and shadder o' the trees--
  And I purt'-nigh said the shadder o' the sunshine and the breeze!
  Well--I never seen the ocean ner I never seen the sea:
  On the banks o' Deer Crick's grand enough fer me!

  On the banks o' Deer Crick--mild er two from town--
  'Long up where the mill-race comes a-loafin' down,--
  Like to git up in there--'mongst the sycamores--
  And watch the worter at the dam, a-frothin' as she pours:
  Crawl out on some old log, with my hook and line,
  Where the fish is jes so thick you kin see 'em shine
  As they flicker round yer bait, _coaxin_' you to jerk,
  Tel yer tired ketchin' of 'em, mighty nigh, as _work_!

  On the banks o' Deer Crick!--Allus my delight
  Jes to be around there--take it day er night!--
  Watch the snipes and killdees foolin' half the day--
  Er these-'ere little worter-bugs skootin' ever'way!--
  Snakefeeders glancin' round, er dartin' out o' sight;
  And dew-fall, and bullfrogs, and lightnin'-bugs at night--
  Stars up through the tree-tops--er in the crick below,--
  And smell o' mussrat through the dark clean from the old b'y-o!

  Er take a tromp, some Sund'y, say, 'way up to "Johnson's Hole,"
  And find where he's had a fire, and hid his fishin' pole;
  Have yer "dog-leg," with ye and yer pipe and "cut-and-dry"--
  Pocketful o' corn-bred, and slug er two o' rye,--
  Soak yer hide in sunshine and waller in the shade--
  Like the Good Book tells us--"where there're none to make afraid!"
  Well!--I never seen the ocean ner I never seen the sea--
  On the banks o' Deer Crick's grand enough fer me!