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A Spray of Kentucky Pine Placed at the Feet of the Dead Poet James Whitcomb Riley   By: (1857-1917)

Book cover

First Page:

Note: Images of the original pages can be seen online at the Kentuckiana Digital Library (


Placed At The Feet Of The Dead Poet James Whitcomb Riley

By The Hand Of the Man From Down On The Farm George Douglass Sherley

On The Banks Of Wolf Run 1916

Second Edition

From Ye Olden Printe Shope James M. Byrnes, Esquire On Ye Long Highway Called Shorte in Ye Goodly Towne Of Lexington Kentucky

The Inscription Two fold

To The Dead: Reverently Inscribed To the Indiana Born World Wide Poet James Whitcomb Riley

This Spray Of Kentucky Pine

To The Living: Also Lovingly Inscribed By The Man From Down On The Farm To The Dear Lady Here On The Banks Of Wolf Run His Mother On Grateful Commemoration Of Her Eighty Fifth Birthday August 20, 1916

The Prelude

A Note Explanatory

With James Whitcomb Riley, some years ago. This Man From Down On The Farm, made a Reading Tour, of in Population more than one half of this Imperial Republic, including the Cream of the Canadian Provinces. Of that Tour, at some other time, in some more leisurely hour, he desires, if able, to make a full and faithful Record. This, is but a humble Spray of Kentucky Pine, placed at the feet of the Dead Poet!

According to a long established Custom, the Man, in some way, in private print for the Relative, for the Friend, for the Stranger too quietly Celebrates the various Red Letter Days, of the Dear Lady Here, On the Banks of Wolf Run his Mother! Her full Restoration, to her usual Good Health, is a Source of much Joy, and the cause of much Gratitude. The many Prayers made for her Recovery must have been of much avail before the Great White Throne, of Infinite Mercy! He is also deeply grateful, that the nearness of her Eighty Fifth Birthday, makes it possible for him, to make an Inscription Two fold, for the Dead, for the Living for the Dear Poet, for the Beloved Mother! The linking of their names together, under this Spray of Kentucky Pine culled by a hand most loving is like unto finding the other half of a broken Chord, in some Prelude Elusive: for James Whitcomb Riley, deeply endeared himself, to the Dear Lady Here, while he and her son were a long while away, on their Reading Tour. Out of sheer Kindliness, out of Goodness of Heart, he often wrote to her, delightful Letters of Good Cheer, filled with a charming detail, with more than a trifle of over Praise; all of which, is most acceptable, to the heart of a too fond mother. Recently, from his Winter Home in the South land, he sent to her, in response to one of these Farm Bubbles, a little Bit of unpublished Verse, written before his hand had failed him, reproduced for her and others in fac simile .

Pray deem it not, all too presumptuous, this humble Spray of Kentucky Pine! It serves as a Reverent Tribute to the One! As a Loving Commemoration to the Other!

The Interlude

Holding Two Telegrams And A Plea


When the word came that James Whitcomb Riley was Dead this Telegram was sent to a near Relative an astute Man of Affairs who with the Head of a Great Publishing House a Prime Favorite from his early Boyhood of the Poet held his well placed Confidence in all matters concerning the necessary material Things of Life.

The mightiest Monarch of the Indiana Forest lies prone upon his Native Soil! This Man From Down On The Farm, Reverently, sends this humble Spray of Kentucky Pine, as a Symbol, ever green, of his Lasting Love, for the Dead Poet: as a Symbol, made manifest, of his deep Sympathy, for You, for Yours... Continue reading book >>

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