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James Whitcomb Riley's "Grandfather Squeers"

The following is the complete text of James Whitcomb Riley's "Grandfather Squeers." Our presentation of this classic poem comes from The Works of James Whitcomb Riley: Vol. V -- Rhymes of Childhood (1899). The various books, short stories and poems we offer are presented free of charge with absolutely no advertising as a public service from Internet Accuracy Project.


Visit these other works by James Whitcomb Riley
"Autumn"
"The Bear Story"
"Blind"
"Chairley Burke's in Town"
The Champion Checker-Player of Ameriky
"A Child's Home Long Ago"
"Christine Braibry"
A Large Collection of his Short Poems
"Das Krist Kindel"
"Dead Selves"
"Doc Sifers"
"Dot Leedle Boy"
"Down to the Capital"
"Erasmus Wilson"
"Ezra House"
"Farmer Whipple--Bachelor"
"He Called Her In"
"The Hoosier Folk-Child"
"How John Quit the Farm"
"Jack the Giant-Killer"
"Kingry's Mill"
"Last Christmas Was a Year Ago"
"Little Johnts's Chris'mus"
"Little Mandy's Christmas Tree"

"Maymie's Story of Red Riding-Hood"
"Mr. What's-His-Name"
"My Philosofy"
"Mylo Jones's Wife"
"A Nest-Egg"
"A New Year's Time at Willards's"
"Old John Clevenger on Buckeyes"
"An Old Sweetheart"
"The Old Swimmin'-Hole"
"On the Banks o' Deer Crick"
"The Pathos of Applause"
Poems from "Rhymes of Childhood"
"The Preacher's Boy"
"Regardin' Terry Hut"
"Romancin'"
"The Rossville Lecture Course"
"The Runaway Boy"
"That-Air Young-Un"
"This Man Jones"
"Thoughts fer the Discuraged Farmer"
"To My Old Friend, William Leachman"
"Tradin' Joe"
"What Chris'mas Fetched the Wigginses"

To see all available titles by other authors, drop by our index of free books alphabetized by author or arranged alphabetically by title.

Potential uses for the free books, stories and prose we offer
* Rediscovering an old favorite book, short story or poem.
* Bibliophiles expanding their collection of public domain ebooks at no cost.
* Teachers trying to locate a free online copy of a short story or poem for use in the classroom.


NOTE: We try to present these classic literary works as they originally appeared in print. As such, they sometimes contain adult themes, offensive language, typographical errors, and often utilize unconventional, older, obsolete or intentionally incorrect spelling and/or punctuation conventions.


"Grandfather Squeers" by James Whitcomb Riley

GRANDFATHER SQUEERS

BY JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY


"My grandfather Squeers," said the Raggedy Man,
As he solemnly lighted his pipe and began--

"The most indestructible man, for his years,
And the grandest on earth, was my grandfather Squeers!

"He said, when he rounded his three-score-and-ten,
'I've the hang of it now and can do it again!'

"He had frozen his heels so repeatedly, he
Could tell by them just what the weather would be;

"And would laugh and declare, 'while
the Almanac would
Most falsely prognosticate,
he never could!'

"Such a hale constitution had grandfather Squeers
That, though he'd used '
navy' for sixty odd years,

"He still chewed a dime's-worth six days of the week,
While the seventh he passed with a chew in each cheek:

"Then my grandfather Squeers had a singular knack
Of sitting around on the small of his back,

"With his legs like a letter Y stretched o'er the grate
Wherein 'twas his custom to ex-pec-tor-ate.

"He was fond of tobacco in
manifold ways,
And would sit on the door-step, of sunshiny days,

"And smoke leaf-tobacco he'd raised strictly for
The pipe he'd used all through The Mexican War."

And The Raggedy Man said, refilling the bowl
Of his
own pipe and leisurely picking a coal

From the stove with his finger and thumb, "You can see
What a tee-nacious habit he's fastened on me!

"And my grandfather Squeers took a special delight
In pruning his corns every Saturday night

"With a horn-handled razor, whose edge he excused
By saying 'twas one that his grandfather used;

"And, though deeply etched in the haft of the same
Was the ever-euphonious Wostenholm's name,

"'Twas my grandfather's custom to boast of the blade
As 'A Seth Thomas razor--the best ever made!'

"No Old Settlers' Meeting, or Pioneers' Fair,
Was complete without grandfather Squeers in the chair,

"To lead off the programme by telling folks how
'He used to shoot deer where the Court-House stands now'--

"How 'he felt, of a truth, to live over the past,
When the country was wild and unbroken and vast,

"'That the little log cabin was just plenty fine
For himself, his companion, and fambly of nine!--

"'When they didn't have even a pump, or a tin,
But drunk surface-water, year out and year in,

"'From the old-fashioned gourd that was sweeter, by odds,
Than the goblets of gold at the lips of the gods!'"

Then The Raggedy Man paused to plaintively say
It was clockin' along to'rds the close of the day--

And he'd
ought to get back to his work on the lawn,--
Then dreamily blubbered his pipe and went on:

"His teeth were imperfect--my grandfather owned
That he couldn't eat oysters unless they were 'boned';

"And his eyes were so weak, and so feeble of sight,
He couldn't sleep with them unless, every night,

"He put on his spectacles--all he possessed,--
Three pairs--with his goggles on top of the rest.

"And my grandfather always, retiring at night,
Blew down the lamp-chimney to put out the light;

"Then he'd curl up on edge like a shaving, in bed,
And puff and smoke pipes in his sleep, it is said:

"And would snore oftentimes, as the legends relate,
Till his folks were wrought up to a terrible state,--

"Then he'd snort, and rear up, and roll over; and there
In the subsequent hush they could hear him chew air.

"And so glaringly bald was the top of his head
That many's the time he has musingly said,

"As his eyes journeyed o'er its reflex in the glass,--
'I must set out a few signs of
Keep Off the Grass!'

"So remarkably deaf was my grandfather Squeers
That he had to wear lightning-rods over his ears

"To even hear thunder--and oftentimes then
He was forced to request it to thunder again."



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