Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LAND OF THUS-AND-SO, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE LAND OF THUS-AND-SO, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: How would willie like to go
Last Line: "to the land of thus-and-so!"
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Fantasy; Magic


"How would Willie like to go
To the Land of Thus-and-So?
Everything is proper there --
All the children comb their hair
Smoother than the fur of cats,
Or the nap of high silk hats;
Every face is clean and white
As a lily washed in light;
Never vaguest soil or speck
Found on forehead, throat or neck;
Every little crimpled ear,
In and out, as pure and clear
As the cherry-blossom's blow
In the Land of Thus-and-So.

"Little boys that never fall
Down the stair, or cry at all --
Doing nothing to repent,
Watchful and obedient;
Never hungry, nor in haste --
Tidy shoe-strings always laced;
Never button rudely torn
From its fellows all unworn;
Knickerbockers always new --
Ribbon, tie, and collar, too;
Little watches, worn like men,
Always promptly half-past ten --
Just precisely right, you know,
For the Land of Thus-and-So!

"And the little babies there
Give no one the slightest care --
Nurse has not a thing to do
But be happy and sigh 'Boo!'
While Mamma just nods, and knows
Nothing but to doze and doze:
Never litter round the grate;
Never lunch or dinner late;
Never any household din
Peals without or rings within --
Baby coos nor laughing calls
On the stairs or through the halls --
Just Great Hushes to and fro
Pace the Land of Thus-and-so!

"Oh! the Land of Thus-and-So!
Isn't it delightful, though?"
"Yes," lisped Willie, answering me
Somewhat slow and doubtfully --
"Must be awful nice, but I
Ruther wait till by-andby
'Fore I go there -- maybe when
I be dead I'll go there then. --
But" -- the troubled little face
Closer pressed in my embrace --
"Le's don't never ever go
To the Land of Thus-and-So!"





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