An’ agin I be a school-boy with
the other merry lads,
When Joe an’ Jerry, Bill an’ I, wus only little tads,
When a half a dozen marvels an’ a kivered ball was worth—
With a knife o’ Barlow pattern—all the treasures o’ the earth;
An’ the soundin’ sort o’ thunder from a poppin’ kind o’ gun
Set our faces all a-giggle on the banks o’ Turkey Run.
It ’ud tickle any feller but ter
see the solemn look,
When the master was a-watchin’, thet we fastened on the book,
But the mischief stickin’ in us, like pertaters in a sack,
It wus never hard ter empty when the teacher turned his back;
O, the paper wads we tumbled thet ’ud weigh about a ton,
In thet crazy-cornered school-house on the banks o’ Turkey Run!
How we used ter chase the robins an’
the rabbits in the wood,
How we gethered bloomin’ posies in the sighin’ solitude!
How we wundered all the medders in our roamin’s o’er an’ o’er,
How we teetered in the branches o’ the beech an’ sycamore!
Or we watched the rompin’ minners as they rasseled in their fun,
While we nearly bust a-laughin’, on the banks o’ Turkey Run!
How we used ter go a-fishin’ when
the day wus gittin’ late,
With a little line o’ cotton an’ a fish-worm fer a bait!
With a bent pin for a fish-hook an’ a hazel fer a pole,
How we sought the softest places by the widest, deepest hole!
How we teehee-eed at the nibbles, caught the fishes one by one,
With the biggest kind o’ prowess, on the banks o’ Turkey Run!
When the sun was burnin’ shavin’s
in the heatin’ stove o’ June,
An’ the clock upon the mantle wus a-knockin’ off the noon
When the beams in bunches blistered as they never did afore,
An’ the sweat was drippin’, droppin’, from the mouth o’ every pore,
How we skipped across the medder, how our swimmin’ wus begun,
In the cool an’ crystal waters ‘tween the banks o’ Turkey Run!
O, the smilin’ days o’ childhood!
O, the loudly laughin’ years!
When contentment brings the moments neither heaviness ner tears!
When the pleasures jine the longin’s an’ the fairy fingers roll
All the heaps o’ angel music in upon the blazin’ soul!
O, my Joe an’ Bill an’ Jerry! Trustin’ comrades, you wus won
Whar my bare feet brushed the grasses on the banks o’ Turkey Run!
But, alas! Thar wus another; she
was fairer than the rest,
An’ she allus had a hearin’ fer the wishes o’ my breast;
Allus wus a chunk o’ sunshine an’ a piece o’ quiet glee,
Allus had a smile o’ welcome an’ a tender word fer me;
An’ without her wus no shinin’ an’ o’ happiness wus none
Ter bring gladness ter my bosom on the banks o’ Turkey Run.
O, her home wus in a cottage whar the
An’ the arly birds o’ April with their sweetest music sung;
Thar wus roses ’round her winder, thar wus roses ’round her door,
Thet wus stickin’ full o’ blushes, but they allus blushed the more,
When her eyes wus seen a-peepin’ an’ her cheeks beamed like the sun,
From thet cosy little cottage on the banks o’ Turkey Run!