Wet-weather Talk

By James Whitcomb Riley 1849–1916
It hain't no use to grumble and complane;
            It's jest as cheap and easy to rejoice.—
When God sorts out the weather and sends rain,
            W'y rain's my choice.

Men ginerly, to all intents—
            Although they're apt to grumble some—
Puts most theyr trust in Providence,
            And takes things as they come—
                        That is, the commonality
                        Of men that's lived as long as me
                        Has watched the world enugh to learn
                        They're not the boss of this concern.

With some, of course, it's different—
            I've saw young men that knowed it all,
And didn't like the way things went
            On this terrestchul ball;—
                        But all the same, the rain, some way,
                        Rained jest as hard on picnic day;
                        Er, when they railly wanted it,
                        It mayby wouldn't rain a bit!

In this existunce, dry and wet
            Will overtake the best of men—
Some little skift o' clouds'll shet
            The sun off now and then.—
                        And mayby, whilse you're wundern who
                        You've fool-like lent your umbrell' to,
                        And want it—out'll pop the sun,
                        And you'll be glad you hain't got none!

It aggervates the farmers, too—
            They's too much wet, er too much sun,
Er work, er waitin' round to do
            Before the plowin' 's done:
                        And mayby, like as not, the wheat,
                        Jest as it's lookin' hard to beat,
                        Will ketch the storm—and jest about
                        The time the corn's a-jintin' out.

These-here cy-clones a-foolin' round—
            And back'ard crops!—and wind and rain!—
And yit the corn that's wallerd down
            May elbow up again!—
                        They hain't no sense, as I can see,
                        Fer mortuls, sech as us, to be
                        A-faultin' Natchur's wise intents,
                        And lockin' horns with Providence!

It hain't no use to grumble and complane;
            It's jest as cheap and easy to rejoice.—
When God sorts out the weather and sends rain,
            W'y, rain's my choice.

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet James Whitcomb Riley 1849–1916

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Nature, Arts & Sciences, Living, Philosophy, Weather

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 James Whitcomb Riley

Biography

Known as “The Hoosier Poet” because of his birth in Indiana and poems celebrating the state, and as “The Children’s Poet” due to his appeal for young readers, James Whitcomb Riley was one of his day’s best-selling writers. Full of sentiment and traditional in form, his work features rustic subjects who speak in a homely, countrified dialect. When Riley died, Woodrow Wilson called him “a man who imparted joyful pleasure and a . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Arts & Sciences, Living, Philosophy, Weather

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.