James Whitcomb Riley

Here you will find the Poem A Barefoot Boy of poet James Whitcomb Riley

A Barefoot Boy

1 A barefoot boy! I mark him at his play -- 
2 For May is here once more, and so is he, -- 
3 His dusty trousers, rolled half to the knee, 
4 And his bare ankles grimy, too, as they: 
5 Cross-hatchings of the nettle, in array 
6 Of feverish stripes, hint vividly to me 
7 Of woody pathways winding endlessly 
8 Along the creek, where even yesterday 
9 He plunged his shrinking body -- gasped and shook -- 
10 Yet called the water "warm," with never lack 
11 Of joy. And so, half enviously I look 
12 Upon this graceless barefoot and his track, -- 
13 His toe stubbed -- ay, his big toe-nail knocked back 
14 Like unto the clasp of an old pocketbook.