To James Whitcomb Riley


Enjoy reading James Whitcomb Riley's whimsical dialect poems, which inspired Kipling's dedication. His most notable works are: The Raggedy Man and Little Orphant Annie.
Your trail runs to the westward,
And mine to my own place;
There is water between our lodges,
And I have not seen your face.

But since I have read your verses
'Tis easy to guess the rest,
Because in the hearts of the children
There is neither East nor West.

Born to a thousand fortunes
Of good or evil hap,
Once they were kings together,
Throned in a mother's lap.

Surely they know that secret,
Yellow and black and white,
When they meet as kings together
In innocent dreams at night.

By a moon they all can play with,
Grubby and grimed and unshod,
Very happy together,
And very near to God.

Your trail runs to the westward,
And mine to my own place:
There is water between our lodges,
And you cannot see my face.

And that is well, for crying
Should neither be written nor seen,
But if I call you Smoke-in-the-Eyes,
I know you will know what I mean.


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