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James Whitcomb Riley's "The Pathos of Applause"

The following is the complete text of James Whitcomb Riley's "The Pathos of Applause." Our presentation of this classic poem comes from The Works of James Whitcomb Riley: Vol. X -- A Child-World (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"
"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"
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.


"The Pathos of Applause" by James Whitcomb Riley

THE PATHOS OF APPLAUSE

BY JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY


The greeting of the company throughout
Was like a jubilee,--the children's shout
And fusillading hand-claps, with great guns
And detonations of the older ones,
Raged to such tumult of tempestuous joy,
It even more alarmed than pleased the boy;
Till, with a sudden twitching lip, he slid
Down to the floor and dodged across and hid
His face against his mother as she raised
Him to the shelter of her heart, and praised
His story in low whisperings, and smoothed
The "amber-colored hair," and kissed and soothed
And lulled him back to sweet tranquillity--
"An' 'at's a sign 'at you're the Ma fer me!"
He lisped, with gurgling ecstasy, and drew
Her closer, with shut eyes; and feeling, too,
If he could only purr now like a cat,
He would undoubtedly be doing that!

"And now"--the serious host said, lifting there
A hand entreating silence;--"now, aware
Of the good promise of our Traveller guest
To add some story with and for the rest,
I think I favor you, and him as well,
Asking a story I have heard him tell,
And know its truth, in each minute detail":
Then leaning on his guest's chair, with a hale
Hand-pat by way of full indorsement, he
Said, "Yes--the Free-Slave story--certainly."

The old man, with his waddy note-book out,
And glittering spectacles, glanced round about
The expectant circle, and still firmer drew
His hat on, with a nervous cough or two:
And, save at times the big hard words, and tone
Of gathering passion--all the speaker's own,--
The tale that set each childish heart astir
Was thus told by "The Noted Traveller."



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