James Whitcomb Riley

7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana

To An Importunate Ghost

Get gone, thou most uncomfortable ghost!
Thou really dost annoy me with thy thin
Impalpable transparency of grin;
And the vague, shadowy shape of thee almost
Hath vext me beyond boundary and coast
Of my broad patience. Stay thy chattering chin,
And reel the tauntings of thy vain tongue in,
Nor tempt me further with thy vaporish boast
That I am _helpless_ to combat thee! Well,
Have at thee, then! Yet if a doom most dire
Thou wouldst escape, flee whilst thou canst!--Revile
Me not, Miasmic Mist!--Rank Air! _retire_!
One instant longer an thou haunt'st me, I'll
_Inhale_ thee, O thou wraith despicable!
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