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Written by James Whitcomb Riley | Create an image from this poem

Liberty

 New Castle, July 4, 1878

or a hundred years the pulse of time
Has throbbed for Liberty;
For a hundred years the grand old clime
Columbia has been free;
For a hundred years our country's love,
The Stars and Stripes, has waved above.
Away far out on the gulf of years-- Misty and faint and white Through the fogs of wrong--a sail appears, And the Mayflower heaves in sight, And drifts again, with its little flock Of a hundred souls, on Plymouth Rock.
Do you see them there--as long, long since-- Through the lens of History; Do you see them there as their chieftain prints In the snow his bended knee, And lifts his voice through the wintry blast In thanks for a peaceful home at last? Though the skies are dark and the coast is bleak, And the storm is wild and fierce, Its frozen flake on the upturned cheek Of the Pilgrim melts in tears, And the dawn that springs from the darkness there Is the morning light of an answered prayer.
The morning light of the day of Peace That gladdens the aching eyes, And gives to the soul that sweet release That the present verifies,-- Nor a snow so deep, nor a wind so chill To quench the flame of a freeman's will! II Days of toil when the bleeding hand Of the pioneer grew numb, When the untilled tracts of the barren land Where the weary ones had come Could offer nought from a fruitful soil To stay the strength of the stranger's toil.
Days of pain, when the heart beat low, And the empty hours went by Pitiless, with the wail of woe And the moan of Hunger's cry-- When the trembling hands upraised in prayer Had only the strength to hold them there.
Days when the voice of hope had fled-- Days when the eyes grown weak Were folded to, and the tears they shed Were frost on a frozen cheek-- When the storm bent down from the skies and gave A shroud of snow for the Pilgrim's grave.
Days at last when the smiling sun Glanced down from a summer sky, And a music rang where the rivers run, And the waves went laughing by; And the rose peeped over the mossy bank While the wild deer stood in the stream and drank.
And the birds sang out so loud and good, In a symphony so clear And pure and sweet that the woodman stood With his ax upraised to hear, And to shape the words of the tongue unknown Into a language all his own-- 1 'Sing! every bird, to-day! Sing for the sky so clear, And the gracious breath of the atmosphere Shall waft our cares away.
Sing! sing! for the sunshine free; Sing through the land from sea to sea; Lift each voice in the highest key And sing for Liberty!' 2 'Sing for the arms that fling Their fetters in the dust And lift their hands in higher trust Unto the one Great King; Sing for the patriot heart and hand; Sing for the country they have planned; Sing that the world may understand This is Freedom's land!' 3 'Sing in the tones of prayer, Sing till the soaring soul Shall float above the world's control In freedom everywhere! Sing for the good that is to be, Sing for the eyes that are to see The land where man at last is free, O sing for liberty!' III A holy quiet reigned, save where the hand Of labor sent a murmur through the land, And happy voices in a harmony Taught every lisping breeze a melody.
A nest of cabins, where the smoke upcurled A breathing incense to the other world.
A land of languor from the sun of noon, That fainted slowly to the pallid moon, Till stars, thick-scattered in the garden-land Of Heaven by the great Jehovah's hand, Had blossomed into light to look upon The dusky warrior with his arrow drawn, As skulking from the covert of the night With serpent cunning and a fiend's delight, With murderous spirit, and a yell of hate The voice of Hell might tremble to translate: When the fond mother's tender lullaby Went quavering in shrieks all suddenly, And baby-lips were dabbled with the stain Of crimson at the bosom of the slain, And peaceful homes and fortunes ruined--lost In smoldering embers of the holocaust.
Yet on and on, through years of gloom and strife, Our country struggled into stronger life; Till colonies, like footprints in the sand, Marked Freedom's pathway winding through the land-- And not the footprints to be swept away Before the storm we hatched in Boston Bay,-- But footprints where the path of war begun That led to Bunker Hill and Lexington,-- For he who "dared to lead where others dared To follow" found the promise there declared Of Liberty, in blood of Freedom's host Baptized to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Oh, there were times when every patriot breast Was riotous with sentiments expressed In tones that swelled in volume till the sound Of lusty war itself was well-nigh drowned.
Oh, those were times when happy eyes with tears Brimmed o'er as all the misty doubts and fears Were washed away, and Hope with gracious mien, Reigned from her throne again a sovereign queen.
Until at last, upon a day like this When flowers were blushing at the summer's kiss, And when the sky was cloudless as the face Of some sweet infant in its angel grace,-- There came a sound of music, thrown afloat Upon the balmy air--a clanging note Reiterated from the brazen throat Of Independence Bell: A sound so sweet, The clamoring throngs of people in the streets Were stilled as at the solemn voice of prayer, And heads were bowed, and lips were moving there That made no sound--until the spell had passed, And then, as when all sudden comes the blast Of some tornado, came the cheer on cheer Of every eager voice, while far and near The echoing bells upon the atmosphere Set glorious rumors floating, till the ear Of every listening patriot tingled clear, And thrilled with joy and jubilee to hear.
I 'Stir all your echoes up, O Independence Bell, And pour from your inverted cup The song we love so well.
'Lift high your happy voice, And swing your iron tongue Till syllables of praise rejoice That never yet were sung.
'Ring in the gleaming dawn Of Freedom--Toll the knell Of Tyranny, and then ring on, O Independence Bell.
-- 'Ring on, and drown the moan, Above the patriot slain, Till sorrow's voice shall catch the tone And join the glad refrain.
'Ring out the wounds of wrong And rankle in the breast; Your music like a slumber-song Will lull revenge to rest.
'Ring out from Occident To Orient, and peal From continent to continent The mighty joy you feel.
'Ring! Independence Bell! Ring on till worlds to be Shall listen to the tale you tell Of love and Liberty!' IV O Liberty--the dearest word A bleeding country ever heard,-- We lay our hopes upon thy shrine And offer up our lives for thine.
You gave us many happy years Of peace and plenty ere the tears A mourning country wept were dried Above the graves of those who died Upon thy threshold.
And again When newer wars were bred, and men Went marching in the cannon's breath And died for thee and loved the death, While, high above them, gleaming bright, The dear old flag remained in sight, And lighted up their dying eyes With smiles that brightened paradise.
O Liberty, it is thy power To gladden us in every hour Of gloom, and lead us by thy hand As little children through a land Of bud and blossom; while the days Are filled with sunshine, and thy praise Is warbled in the roundelays Of joyous birds, and in the song Of waters, murmuring along The paths of peace, whose flowery fringe Has roses finding deeper tinge Of crimson, looking on themselves Reflected--leaning from the shelves Of cliff and crag and mossy mound Of emerald splendor shadow-drowned.
-- We hail thy presence, as you come With bugle blast and rolling drum, And booming guns and shouts of glee Commingled in a symphony That thrills the worlds that throng to see The glory of thy pageantry.
0And with thy praise, we breathe a prayer That God who leaves you in our care May favor us from this day on With thy dear presence--till the dawn Of Heaven, breaking on thy face, Lights up thy first abiding place.
Written by James Whitcomb Riley | Create an image from this poem

A Parting Guest

 What delightful hosts are they -- 
 Life and Love! 
Lingeringly I turn away, 
 This late hour, yet glad enough 
They have not withheld from me 
 Their high hospitality.
So, with face lit with delight And all gratitude, I stay Yet to press their hands and say, "Thanks.
-- So fine a time! Good night.
"
Written by James Whitcomb Riley | Create an image from this poem

A Song of the Road

 O I will walk with you, my lad, whichever way you fare, 
You'll have me, too, the side o' you, with heart as light as air; 
No care for where the road you take's a-leadin' anywhere,-- 
It can but be a joyful ja'nt whilst you journey there.
The road you take's the path o' love, an' that's the bridth o' two-- An' I will walk with you, my lad -- O I will walk with you.
Ho! I will walk with you, my lad, Be weather black or blue Or roadsides frost or dew, my lad -- O I will walk with you.
Aye, glad, my lad, I'll walk with you, whatever winds may blow, Or summer blossoms stay our steps, or blinding drifts of snow; The way thay you set face an' foot 's the way that I will go, An' brave I'll be, abreast o' ye, the Saints and Angels know! With loyal hand in loyal hand, an' one heart made o' two, Through summer's gold, or winter's cold, It's I will walk with you.
Sure, I will walk with you, my lad, A love ordains me to,-- To Heaven's door, an' through, my lad.
O I will walk with you.
Written by James Whitcomb Riley | Create an image from this poem

The Raggedy Man

 O the Raggedy Man! He works fer Pa;
An' he's the goodest man ever you saw!
He comes to our house every day,
An' waters the horses, an' feeds 'em hay;
An' he opens the shed -- an' we all ist laugh
When he drives out our little old wobble-ly calf;
An' nen -- ef our hired girl says he can --
He milks the cow fer 'Lizabuth Ann.
-- Ain't he a' awful good Raggedy Man? Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man! W'y, The Raggedy Man -- he's ist so good, He splits the kindlin' an' chops the wood; An' nen he spades in our garden, too, An' does most things 'at boys can't do.
-- He clumbed clean up in our big tree An' shooked a' apple down fer me -- An' 'nother 'n', too, fer 'Lizabuth Ann -- An' 'nother 'n', too, fer The Raggedy Man.
-- Ain't he a' awful kind Raggedy Man? Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man! An' The Raggedy Man one time say he Pick' roast' rambos from a' orchurd-tree, An' et 'em -- all ist roast' an' hot! -- An' it's so, too! -- 'cause a corn-crib got Afire one time an' all burn' down On "The Smoot Farm," 'bout four mile from town -- On "The Smoot Farm"! Yes -- an' the hired han' 'At worked there nen 'uz The Raggedy Man! -- Ain't he the beatin'est Raggedy Man? Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man! The Raggedy Man's so good an' kind He'll be our "horsey," an' "haw" an' mind Ever'thing 'at you make him do -- An' won't run off -- 'less you want him to! I drived him wunst way down our lane An' he got skeered, when it 'menced to rain, An' ist rared up an' squealed and run Purt' nigh away! -- an' it's all in fun! Nen he skeered ag'in at a' old tin can .
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Whoa! y' old runaway Raggedy Man! Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man! An' The Raggedy Man, he knows most rhymes, An' tells 'em, ef I be good, sometimes: Knows 'bout Giunts, an' Griffuns, an' Elves, An' the Squidgicum-Squees 'at swallers the'rselves: An', wite by the pump in our pasture-lot, He showed me the hole 'at the Wunks is got, 'At lives 'way deep in the ground, an' can Turn into me, er 'Lizabuth Ann! Er Ma, er Pa, er The Raggedy Man! Ain't he a funny old Raggedy Man? Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man! An' wunst, when The Raggedy Man come late, An' pigs ist root' thue the garden-gate, He 'tend like the pigs 'uz bears an' said, "Old Bear-shooter'll shoot 'em dead!" An' race' an' chase' 'em, an' they'd ist run When he pint his hoe at 'em like it's a gun An' go "Bang! -- Bang!" nen 'tend he stan' An' load up his gun ag'in! Raggedy Man! He's an old Bear-shooter Raggedy Man! Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man! An' sometimes The Raggedy Man lets on We're little prince-children, an' old King's gone To git more money, an' lef' us there -- And Robbers is ist thick ever'where; An' nen -- ef we all won't cry, fer shore -- The Raggedy Man he'll come and "'splore The Castul-halls," an' steal the "gold" -- An' steal us, too, an' grab an' hold An' pack us off to his old "Cave"! -- An' Haymow's the "cave" o' The Raggedy Man! -- Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man! The Raggedy Man -- one time, when he Wuz makin' a little bow-'n'-orry fer me, Says "When you're big like your Pa is, Air you go' to keep a fine store like his -- An' be a rich merchunt -- an' wear fine clothes? -- Er what air you go' to be, goodness knows?" An' nen he laughed at 'Lizabuth Ann, An' I says "'M go' to be a Raggedy Man! -- I'm ist go' to be a nice Raggedy Man!" Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!
Written by James Whitcomb Riley | Create an image from this poem

The Willow

 Who shall sing a simple ditty about the Willow, 
Dainty-fine and delicate as any bending spray 
That dandles high the dainty bird that flutters there to trill a 
Tremulously tender song of greeting to the May.
Bravest, too, of all the trees! -- none to match your daring,-- First of greens to greet the Spring and lead in leafy sheen;-- Aye, and you're the last -- almost into winter wearing Still the leaf of loyalty -- still the badge of green.
Ah, my lovely willow! --let the waters lilt your graces,-- They alone with limped kisses lave your leaves above, Flashing back your silvan beauty, and in shady places Peering up with glimmering pebbles, like the eyes of love.
Written by James Whitcomb Riley | Create an image from this poem

Knee-Deep in June

 Tell you what I like the best -- 
'Long about knee-deep in June, 
'Bout the time strawberries melts 
On the vine, -- some afternoon 
Like to jes' git out and rest, 
And not work at nothin' else! 

Orchard's where I'd ruther be -- 
Needn't fence it in fer me! -- 
Jes' the whole sky overhead, 
And the whole airth underneath -- 
Sort o' so's a man kin breathe 
Like he ort, and kind o' has 
Elbow-room to keerlessly 
Sprawl out len'thways on the grass 
Where the shadders thick and soft 
As the kivvers on the bed 
Mother fixes in the loft 
Allus, when they's company! 

Jes' a-sort o' lazin there - 
S'lazy, 'at you peek and peer 
Through the wavin' leaves above, 
Like a feller 'ats in love 
And don't know it, ner don't keer! 
Ever'thing you hear and see 
Got some sort o' interest - 
Maybe find a bluebird's nest 
Tucked up there conveenently 
Fer the boy 'at's ap' to be 
Up some other apple tree! 
Watch the swallers skootin' past 
Bout as peert as you could ast; 
Er the Bob-white raise and whiz 
Where some other's whistle is.
Ketch a shadder down below, And look up to find the crow -- Er a hawk, - away up there, 'Pearantly froze in the air! -- Hear the old hen squawk, and squat Over ever' chick she's got, Suddent-like! - and she knows where That-air hawk is, well as you! -- You jes' bet yer life she do! -- Eyes a-glitterin' like glass, Waitin' till he makes a pass! Pee-wees wingin', to express My opinion, 's second-class, Yit you'll hear 'em more er less; Sapsucks gittin' down to biz, Weedin' out the lonesomeness; Mr.
Bluejay, full o' sass, In them baseball clothes o' his, Sportin' round the orchad jes' Like he owned the premises! Sun out in the fields kin sizz, But flat on yer back, I guess, In the shade's where glory is! That's jes' what I'd like to do Stiddy fer a year er two! Plague! Ef they ain't somepin' in Work 'at kind o' goes ag'in' My convictions! - 'long about Here in June especially! -- Under some ole apple tree, Jes' a-restin through and through, I could git along without Nothin' else at all to do Only jes' a-wishin' you Wuz a-gittin' there like me, And June wuz eternity! Lay out there and try to see Jes' how lazy you kin be! -- Tumble round and souse yer head In the clover-bloom, er pull Yer straw hat acrost yer eyes And peek through it at the skies, Thinkin' of old chums 'ats dead, Maybe, smilin' back at you In betwixt the beautiful Clouds o'gold and white and blue! -- Month a man kin railly love -- June, you know, I'm talkin' of! March ain't never nothin' new! -- April's altogether too Brash fer me! and May -- I jes' 'Bominate its promises, -- Little hints o' sunshine and Green around the timber-land -- A few blossoms, and a few Chip-birds, and a sprout er two, -- Drap asleep, and it turns in Fore daylight and snows ag'in! -- But when June comes - Clear my th'oat With wild honey! -- Rench my hair In the dew! And hold my coat! Whoop out loud! And th'ow my hat! -- June wants me, and I'm to spare! Spread them shadders anywhere, I'll get down and waller there, And obleeged to you at that!
Written by James Whitcomb Riley | Create an image from this poem

Almost Beyond Endurance

 I ain't a-goin' to cry no more, no more!
I'm got ear-ache, an' Ma can't make
It quit a-tall;
An' Carlo bite my rubber-ball
An' puncture it; an' Sis she take
An' poke' my knife down through the stable-floor
An' loozed it - blame it all!
But I ain't goin' to cry no more, no more!

An' Aunt Mame wrote she's comin',
an she can't -
Folks is come there! - An I don't care
She is my Aunt!
An' my eyes stings; an' I'm
Ist coughin' all the time,
An' hurts me so; an' where my side's so sore
Grampa felt where, an' he
Says `Mayby it's pleurasy!"
But I ain't goin' to cry no more, no more!

An' I clumbed up an' nen failed off the fence,
An' Herbert he ist laugh at me!
An my fi'-cents
It sticked in my tin bank, an' I ist store
Purt' nigh my thumbnail off,
a-tryin to get
It out - nen smash it! - An' it's in there yit!
But I ain't goin' to cry no more, no more!

Oo! I'm so wickud! - An' my breath's so hot -
Ist like I run an' don't res' none
But ist run on when I ought to not;
Yes, an' my chin
An' lip's all warpy, an' teeth's so fast,
An' 's a place in my throat I can't swaller past -
An' they all hurt so!
An' oh, my-oh!
I'm a-startin' ag'in -
I'm a-startin ag'in, but I won't, fer shore! -
I ist ain't goin' to cry no more, no more!
Written by James Whitcomb Riley | Create an image from this poem

The Rapture of the Year

 While skies glint bright with bluest light 
Through clouds that race o'er fields and town, 
And leaves go dancing left and right, 
And orchard apples tumble down; 
While school-girls sweet, in lane or street, 
Lean 'gainst the wind and feel and hear 
Its glad heart like a lover's beat,-- 
So reigns the rapture of the year.
The ho! and hey! and whop-hooray! Though winter clouds be looming, Remember a November day Is merrier than mildest May With all her blossoms blooming.
While birds in scattered flight are blown Aloft and lost in dusky mist, And truant boys scud home alone 'Neath skies of gold and amethyst; While twilight falls, and Echo calls Across the haunted atmosphere, With low, sweet laughs at intervals,-- So reigns the rapture of the year.
The ho! and hey! and whop-hooray! Though winter clouds be looming, Remember a November day Is merrier than mildest May With all her blossoms blooming.
Written by James Whitcomb Riley | Create an image from this poem

The Old Guitar

 Neglected now is the old guitar
And moldering into decay;
Fretted with many a rift and scar
That the dull dust hides away,
While the spider spins a silver star
In its silent lips to-day.
The keys hold only nerveless strings-- The sinews of brave old airs Are pulseless now; and the scarf that clings So closely here declares A sad regret in its ravelings And the faded hue it wears.
But the old guitar, with a lenient grace, Has cherished a smile for me; And its features hint of a fairer face That comes with a memory Of a flower-and-perfume-haunted place And a moonlit balcony.
Music sweeter than words confess, Or the minstrel's powers invent, Thrilled here once at the light caress Of the fairy hands that lent This excuse for the kiss I press On the dear old instrument.
The rose of pearl with the jeweled stem Still blooms; and the tiny sets In the circle all are here; the gem In the keys, and the silver frets; But the dainty fingers that danced o'er them-- Alas for the heart's regrets!-- Alas for the loosened strings to-day, And the wounds of rift and scar On a worn old heart, with its roundelay Enthralled with a stronger bar That Fate weaves on, through a dull decay Like that of the old guitar!
Written by James Whitcomb Riley | Create an image from this poem

The Bumblebee

 You better not fool with a Bumblebee! --
Ef you don't think they can sting -- you'll see!
They're lazy to look at, an' kind o' go
Buzzin' an' bummin' aroun' so slow,
An' ac' so slouchy an' all fagged out,
Danglin' their legs as they drone about
The hollyhawks 'at they can't climb in
'Ithout ist a-tumble-un out ag'in!
Wunst I watched one climb clean 'way
In a jimson-blossom, I did, one day, --
An' I ist grabbed it -- an' nen let go --
An' "Ooh-ooh! Honey! I told ye so!"
Says The Raggedy Man; an' he ist run
An' pullt out the stinger, an' don't laugh none,
An' says: "They has be'n folks, I guess,
'At thought I wuz predjudust, more er less, --
Yit I still muntain 'at a Bumblebee
Wears out his welcome too quick fer me!"
Written by James Whitcomb Riley | Create an image from this poem

Who Bides His Time

 Who bides his time, and day by day 
Faces defeat full patiently, 
And lifts a mirthful roundelay, 
However poor his fortunes be,-- 
He will not fail in any qualm 
Of poverty -- the paltry dime 
It will grow golden in his palm, 
Who bides his time.
Who bides his time -- he tastes the sweet Of honey in the saltest tear; And though he fares with slowest feet, Joy runs to meet him, drawing near; The birds are hearalds of his cause; And, like a never-ending rhyme, The roadsides bloom in his applause, Who bides his time.
Who bides his time, and fevers not In the hot race that none achieves, Shall wear cool-wreathen laurel, wrought With crimson berries in the leaves; And he shall reign a goodly king, And sway his hand o'er every clime With peace writ on his signet-ring, Who bides his time.
Written by James Whitcomb Riley | Create an image from this poem

When the Frost is on the Punkin

 When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then's the times a feller is a-feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.
They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here-- Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees, And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees; But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock-- When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.
The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn, And the raspin' of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn; The stubble in the furries--kindo' lonesome-like, but still A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill; The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed; The hosses in theyr stalls below--the clover over-head!-- O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock, When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock! Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps; And your cider-makin' 's over, and your wimmern-folks is through With their mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and saussage, too! .
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I don't know how to tell it--but ef sich a thing could be As the Angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me-- I'd want to 'commodate 'em--all the whole-indurin' flock-- When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock!
Written by James Whitcomb Riley | Create an image from this poem

A Barefoot Boy

 A barefoot boy! I mark him at his play --
 For May is here once more, and so is he, --
 His dusty trousers, rolled half to the knee,
And his bare ankles grimy, too, as they:
Cross-hatchings of the nettle, in array
 Of feverish stripes, hint vividly to me
 Of woody pathways winding endlessly
Along the creek, where even yesterday
He plunged his shrinking body -- gasped and shook --
 Yet called the water "warm," with never lack
Of joy.
And so, half enviously I look Upon this graceless barefoot and his track, -- His toe stubbed -- ay, his big toe-nail knocked back Like unto the clasp of an old pocketbook.
Written by James Whitcomb Riley | Create an image from this poem

Granny

 Granny's come to our house,
 And ho! my lawzy-daisy!
All the childern round the place
 Is ist a-runnin' crazy!
Fetched a cake fer little Jake,
 And fetched a pie fer Nanny,
And fetched a pear fer all the pack
 That runs to kiss their Granny!


Lucy Ellen's in her lap,
 And Wade and Silas Walker
Both's a-ridin' on her foot,
 And 'Pollos on the rocker;
And Marthy's twins, from Aunt Marinn's,
 And little Orphant Annie,
All's a-eatin' gingerbread
 And giggle-un at Granny!


Tells us all the fairy tales
 Ever thought er wundered --
And 'bundance o' other stories --
 Bet she knows a hunderd! --
Bob's the one fer "Whittington,"
 And "Golden Locks" fer Fanny!
Hear 'em laugh and clap their hands,
 Listenin' at Granny!


"Jack the Giant-Killer" 's good;
 And "Bean-Stalk" 's another! --
So's the one of "Cinderell'"
 And her old godmother; --
That-un's best of all the rest --
 Bestest one of any, --
Where the mices scampers home
 Like we runs to Granny!


Granny's come to our house,
 Ho! my lawzy-daisy!
All the childern round the place
 Is ist a-runnin' crazy!
Fetched a cake fer little Jake,
 And fetched a pie fer Nanny,
And fetched a pear fer all the pack
 That runs to kiss their Granny!
Written by James Whitcomb Riley | Create an image from this poem

Little Orphant Annie

 INSCRIBED WITH ALL FAITH AND AFFECTION

To all the little children: -- The happy ones; and sad ones;
The sober and the silent ones; the boisterous and glad ones;
The good ones -- Yes, the good ones, too; and all the lovely bad ones.
Little Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay, An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away, An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep, An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep; An' all us other childern, when the supper-things is done, We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about, An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you Ef you Don't Watch Out! Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn't say his prayers,-- An' when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs, His Mammy heerd him holler, an' his Daddy heerd him bawl, An' when they turn't the kivvers down, he wuzn't there at all! An' they seeked him in the rafter-room, an' cubby-hole, an' press, An' seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an' ever'-wheres, I guess; But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an' roundabout:-- An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you Ef you Don't Watch Out! An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin, An' make fun of ever' one, an' all her blood-an'-kin; An' wunst, when they was "company," an' ole folks wuz there, She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em, an' said she didn't care! An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide, They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin' by her side, An' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'fore she knowed what she's about! An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you Ef you Don't Watch Out! An' little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue, An' the lamp-wick sputters, an' the wind goes woo-oo! An' you hear the crickets quit, an' the moon is gray, An' the lightnin'-bugs in dew is all squenched away,-- You better mind yer parunts, an' yer teachurs fond an' dear, An' churish them 'at loves you, an' dry the orphant's tear, An' he'p the pore an' needy ones 'at clusters all about, Er the Gobble-uns 'll git you Ef you Don't Watch Out!