Internet Accuracy Project

Home
Table of Contents
Biographical Index
Reference Book Errors
Commonly Confused Words
Spell Checker Fun
Witty Acronyms
Free eBooks (A - D)
Free eBooks (E - Hd)
Free eBooks (He - Hz)
Free eBooks (I - L)
Free eBooks (M - P)
Free eBooks (Q - R)
Free eBooks (S - V)
Free eBooks (W - Z)
Short Poems
Short Poems by Keats
African-American Poetry
Christina Rossetti Poetry
Poems by Sir Walter Scott
Poems by Rudyard Kipling
William Cullen Bryant Poems
Short Robert Browning Poems
Weights and Measurements
Halloween Place Names
Valentine's Place Names
Christmas' Place Names
Unusual Town Names
Place Name Index
U.S. Presidents
2012 Calendar
2013 Calendar
U.S. Time Zones
Roman Numerals
Wind Chill Charts
Heat Index Charts
U.S. Postage Rates
U.S. Mail Holidays
Frequently Asked Questions
Contribute Used Books
Recent Updates
Link to Us
Contact Us
James Whitcomb Riley's "Mr. What's-His-Name"

The following is the complete text of James Whitcomb Riley's "Mr. What's-His-Name." Our presentation of this classic poem comes from The Works of James Whitcomb Riley: Vol. VII -- Green Fields and Running Brooks (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"
"Grandfather Squeers"
"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"
"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.


"Mr. What's-His-Name" by James Whitcomb Riley

MR. WHAT'S-HIS-NAME

BY JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY


They called him Mr. What's-his-name:
From where he was, or why he came,
Or when, or what he found to do,
Nobody in the city knew.

He lived, it seemed, shut up alone
In a low hovel of his own;
There cooked his meals and made his bed,
Careless of all his neighbors said.

His neighbors, too, said many things
Expressive of grave wonderings,
Since none of them had ever been
Within his doors, or peered therein.

In fact, grown watchful, they became
Assured that Mr. What's-his-name
Was up to something wrong--indeed,
Small doubt of it, we all agreed.

At night were heard strange noises there,
When honest people everywhere
Had long retired; and his light
Was often seen to burn all night.

He left his house but seldom--then
Would always hurry back again,
As though he feared some stranger's knock,
Finding him gone, might burst the lock.

Besides, he carried, every day,
At the one hour he went away,
A basket, with the contents hid
Beneath its woven willow lid.

And so we grew to greatly blame
This wary Mr. What's-his-name,
And look on him with such distrust
His actions seemed to sanction just.

But when he died--he died one day--
Dropped in the street while on his way
To that old wretched hut of his--
You'll think it strange--perhaps it is--

But when we lifted him, and past
The threshold of his home at last,
No man of all the crowd but stepped
With reverence,--ay,
quailed and wept!

What was it? Just a shriek of pain
I pray to never hear again--
A withered woman, old and bowed,
That fell and crawled and cried aloud--

And kissed the dead man's matted hair--
Lifted his face and kissed him there--
Called to him, as she clutched his hand,
In words no one could understand.

Insane? Yes.--Well, we, searching, found
An unsigned letter, in a round
Free hand, within the dead man's breast:
"Look to my mother--
I'm at rest.

"You'll find my money safely hid
Under the lining of the lid
Of my work-basket. It is hers,
And God will bless her ministers!"

And some day--though he died unknown--
If through the City by the Throne
I walk, all cleansed of earthly shame,
I'll ask for Mr. What's-his-name.



If you find the above classic poem useful, please link to this page from your webpage, blog or website. Alternatively, consider recommending us to your friends and colleagues. Thank you in advance!

Website Copyright © 2005-2012 INTERNET ACCURACY PROJECT. BY ACCESSING THIS SITE YOU ARE STATING THAT YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY OUR TERMS AND CONDITIONS regardless of whether you reside in the United States of America or not. Our Privacy Policy. This page was last updated January 1, 2012.