The Jolly Miller

by James Whitcomb Riley

James Whitcomb Riley

It was a Jolly Miller lived on the River Dee;
He looked upon his piller, and there he found a flea:
"O Mr. Flea! you have bit' me,
And you shall shorely die!"
So he scrunched his bones against the stones--
And there he let him lie!
Twas then the Jolly Miller he laughed and told his wife,
And _she_ laughed fit to kill her, and dropped her carvin'-knife!--
"O Mr. Flea!" "Ho-ho!" "Tee-hee!"
They _both_ laughed fit to kill,
Until the sound did almost drownd
The rumble of the mill!
_"Laugh on, my Jolly Miller! and Missus Miller, too!--
But there's a weeping-willer will soon wave over you!"_
The voice was all so awful small--
So very small and slim!--
He durst' infer that it was her,
Ner her infer 'twas him!
That night the Jolly Miller, says he, "It's Wifey dear,
That cat o' yourn, I'd kill her!--her actions is so queer,--
She rubbin' 'ginst the grindstone-legs,
And yowlin' at the sky--
And I 'low the moon haint greener
Than the yaller of her eye!"
And as the Jolly Miller went chuckle-un to bed,
Was _Somepin_ jerked his piller from underneath his head!
"O Wife," says he, on-easi-lee,
"Fetch here that lantern there!"
But _Somepin_ moans in thunder tones,
"_You tetch it ef you dare!_"
'Twas then the Jolly Miller he trimbled and he quailed--
And his wife choked until her breath come back, 'n' she _wailed!_
And "_O!"_ cried she, "it is _the Flea_,
All white and pale and wann--
He's got you in his clutches, and
_He's bigger than a man!_"
"_Ho! ho! my Jolly Miller," (fer 'twas the Flea, fer shore!)
"I reckon you'll not rack my bones ner scrunch 'em any more!_"
And then _the Ghost_ he grabbed him clos't,
With many a ghastly smile,
And from the doorstep stooped and hopped
About four hundred mile!

Last updated January 14, 2019