“With halest Christmas greetings”

An’ Uncle bow’ his face | An’ say so long a Blessing nen, | Trip bark’ two time ‘fore it’s “A-men!”

From A Defective Santa Claus by James Whitcomb Riley, with pictures by C.M. Relyea and Will Vawter (1904)

I wish I had remembered earlier that I have this. What a delight! I have several books of Riley’s poems, and more in e-book format. The dialect takes some getting used to, but once you train up your ear, he’s well worth reading. Mind you, it’s not epic but it is worth reading.

A Defective Santa Claus is especially funny in a crappy old sort of way. You can read it– or just look at the pictures!– here, though something’s amiss with the formatting of the poem in Part II.

Post title from the Dedication, in part