From The Wit and Humor of America, edited by Marshall P. Wilder, Volume III, New York and London: Funk and Wagnalls and Company, 1911; pp. 486-487.
A DOS’T O’ BLUES
BY JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY
I’ got no patience with blues at all!
And I ust to kindo talk
Aginst ’em, and claim, ’tel along last Fall,
They was none in the fambly stock;
But a nephew of mine, from Eelinoy,
That visited us last year,
He kindo convinct me differunt
While he was a-stayin’ here.
Frum ever’-which way that blues is from,
They’d tackle him ever’ ways;
They’d come to him in the night, and come
On Sundays and rainy days;
They’d tackle him in corn-plantin’ time,
And in harvest, and airly Fall,
But a dos’t of blues in the wintertime,
He ’lowed, was the worst of all!
Said all diseases that ever he had —
The mumps, er the rheumatiz —
Er ever’-other-day-aigger’s bad
Purt’ nigh as anything is! —
Er a cyarbuncle, say, on the back of his neck,
Er a felon on his thumb, —
But you keep the blues away from him,
And all o’ the rest could come!487
And he’d moan, “They’s nary a leaf below!
Ner a spear o’ grass in sight!
And the whole wood-pile’s clean under snow!
And the days is dark as night!
You can’t go out — ner you can’t stay in —
Lay down — stand up — ner set!”
And a tetch o’ regular typhoid-blues
Would double him jest clean shet!
I writ his parents a postal-kyard,
He could stay ’tel Spring-time come;
And Aprile first, as I rickollect,
Was the day we shipped him home!
Most o’ his relatives, sence then,
Has either give up, er quit,
Er jest died off; but I understand
He’s the same old color yit!