THE FROG by James Whitcomb Riley


Who am I but the Frog--the Frog!
    My realm is the dark bayou,
And my throne is the muddy and moss-grown log
    That the poison-vine clings to--
And the blacksnakes slide in the slimy tide
    Where the ghost of the moon looks blue.

What am I but a King--a King!--
    For the royal robes I wear--
A scepter, too, and a signet-ring,
    As vassals and serfs declare:
And a voice, god wot, that is equaled not
    In the wide world anywhere!

I can talk to the Night--the Night!--
    Under her big black wing
She tells me the tale of the world outright,
    And the secret of everything;
For she knows you all, from the time you crawl,
    To the doom that death will bring.

The Storm swoops down, and he blows--and blows,--
    While I drum on his swollen cheek,
And croak in his angered eye that glows
    With the lurid lightning's streak;
While the rushes drown in the watery frown
    That his bursting passions leak.

And I can see through the sky--the sky--
    As clear as a piece of glass;
And I can tell you the how and why
    Of the things that come to pass--
And whether the dead are there instead,
    Or under the graveyard grass.

To your Sovereign lord all hail--all hail!--
    To your Prince on his throne so grim!
Let the moon swing low, and the high stars trail
    Their heads in the dust to him;
And the wide world sing:  Long live the King,
    And grace to his royal whim!

Today I Saw

Today I saw more of a Sweetgum tree in emergence.

The contrast between the silky soft – and I mean silky rabbit foot soft – emergence and the gnarly prickly ball it will, I assume, become, is striking. I’ve never seen a sweetgum tree up close before now so I am looking forward to seeing how this all develops.