The Happiest Man in I-O-Way

By Rupert Hughes

Jes' down the road a piece, 'ith the dust so deep

It teched the bay mare's fetlocks; an' the sun

So b'ilin' hot, the pewees dassn't peep;

Seemed like midsummer 'fore the spring's begun!

An' me plumb beat an' good-fer-nothin'-like

An' awful lonedsome fer a sight o' you …

I come to that big locus' by the pike,

An' she was all in bloom, an' trembly, too,

With breezes like drug-store perfumery.

I stood up in my stirrups, with my head

So deep in flowers they almost smothered me.

I kind o' liked to think that I was dead …

An' if I hed 'a' died like that to-day,

I'd 'a' be'n the happiest man in I-o-way.

For whut's the us't o' goin' on like this?

Your pa not 'lowin me around the place …

Well, fust I knowed, I'd give them blooms a kiss;

They tasted like Good-Night on your white face.

I reached my arms out wide, an' hugged 'em—say,

I dreamp' your little heart was hammerin' me!

I broke this branch off for a love-bo'quet;

'F I'd be'n a giant, I'd 'a' plucked the tree!

The blooms is kind o' dusty from the road,

But you won't mind. And, as the feller said,

"When this you see remember me"—I knowed

Another poem; but I've lost my head

From seein' you! 'Bout all that I kin say

Is—"I'm the happiest man in I-o-way."

Well, comin' 'long the road I seen your ma

Drive by to town—she didn't speak to me!

An' in the farthest field I seen your pa

At his spring-plowin', like I'd ought to be.

But, knowin' you'd be here all by yourself,

I hed to come—for now's our livin' chance.

Take off yer apern, leave things on the shelf—

Our preacher needs what th' feller calls "romance."

Ain't got no red-wheeled buggy; but the mare

Will carry double, like we've trained her to.

Jes' put a locus'-blossom in your hair

An' let's ride straight to heaven—me an' you!

I'll build y' a little house, an' folks'll say:

"There lives the happiest pair in I-o-way."