James Whitcomb Riley

American poet from Indianapolis (1849–1916)

James Whitcomb Riley (Greenfield, Indiana, October 7, 1849 - July 22, 1916) was an American writer and poet. Known as the "Hoosier Poet" and the "Children's Poets," he started his career in 1875 writing newspaper verse in Indiana dialect for the Indianapolis Journal.


  • The ripest peach is highest on the tree.
    • "The Ripest Peach", in Afterwhiles (Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1888), p. 71.

Old-Fashioned Roses (1889)

Old-Fashioned Roses (Indianapolis: Bowen-Merrill Co., 1889)
  • One naked star has waded through
    The purple shadows of the night,
    And faltering as falls the dew
    It drips its misty light.
    • "The Beetle", p. 76.
  • O’er folded blooms,
    On swirls of musk,
    The beetle booms adown the glooms
    And bumps along the dusk.
    • "The Beetle", p. 77.
  • An’ the Gobble-uns ’ll git you
     Ef you
    • "Little Orphant Annie', p. 112.
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