Quotes by James Whitcomb Riley

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The most essential factor is persistence -- the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come.

Continuous, unflagging effort, persistence and determination will win. Let not the man be discouraged who has these.
It doesn't pay to say too much when you are mad enough to choke. For the word that stings the deepest is the word that is never spoke, Let the other fellow wrangle till the storm has blown away, then he'll do a heap of thinking about the things you didn't say.
My bride hath need of no disguise.--But rather, let her come to me In such a form as bent above My pillow when, in infancy, I knew not anything but love.-- O let her come from out the lands Of Womanhood--not fairy isles, And let her come with Woman's hands And Woman's eyes of tears and smiles,--With Woman's hopefulness and grace Of patience lighting up her face.
Ring out the shame and sorrow And the misery and sin, That the dawning of the morrow May in peace be ushered in.
Somebody's sent a funny little valentine to me. It's a bunch of baby-roses in a vase of filigree, And hovering above them--just as cute as he can be--Is a fairy cupid tangled in a scarf of poetry.
She loves me when I'm glad er sad; She loves me when I'm good er bad; An', what's a funniest thing, she says She loves me when she punishes.
A monument for the Soldiers! Built of a people's love, And blazoned and decked and panoplied With the hearts ye build it of! And see that ye build it stately, In pillar and niche and gate, And high in pose as the souls of those It would commemorate!
Sing in the tones of prayer, Sing till the soaring soul Shall float above the world's control In Freedom everywhere! Sing for the good that is to be, Sing for the eyes that are to see The land where man at last is free, O sing for Liberty!
Soldiers and saviors of the homes we love; Heroes and patriots who marched away, And who marched back, and who marched on above--All--all are here to-day!
Good-by, Old Year! Good-by! We have seen sorrow--you and I--Such hopeless sorrow, grief and care That now, that you have come to die, Remembering our old despair, Tis sweet to say, "Good-by--Good-by, Old Year! Good-by!"
. . . The laziest of all days--To git up any time--er sleep--Er jes' lay round and watch the haze A-dancin' crost the wheat, and keep My pipe a-goern laisurely.
Poverty compels me To face the snow and sleet,--For pore wife and children Must have a crust to eat.--The sad wail of hunger It would drive me insane, If it wasn't for Blue-Monday When I git to work againe!
Midst the wealth of facts and fancies That our memories may recall, Thus the old school-day romances Are the dearest, after all!--When some sweet thought revises The half-forgotten tune That opened "Exercises," On "Friday Afternoon."
When coughs are changed to laughs, and when Our frowns melt into smiles of glee, And all our blood thaws out again In streams of ecstasy, And poets wreak their roundelay, The Spring is coming round this way.
Ah! how sweet to seem, love, Drugged and half aswoon With this luscious dream, love, In the heart of June.
. . . throbbing on and on, the pulse of heat Increases--reaches--passes fever's height, And Day slinks into slumber, cool and sweet, Within the arms of Night.
Can't tell what it is about Old October knocks me out!--I sleep well enough at night--And the blamedest appetite Ever mortal man possessed,--
. . . while you gasp and pant And try to cool yourself--and can't--With soda, cream and lemonade, The heat at ninety in the shade,--Just calmly sit and ponder o'er These same degrees, with ninety more On top of them, and so concede The weather now is cool indeed!
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock--When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.
When will you cease, O dismal days? When will you set me free? For the frozen world and its desolate ways Are all unloved of me!
With song elate we celebrate The struggling Student wight, Who seeketh still to pack his pate With treasures erudite.