Classic and Contemporary Poetry
THE OLD, OLD WISH, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY Poet's Biography
First Line: Last night, in some lost mood of
Last Line: "when will my wish come true?"
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Night; Stars; Vision; Wishes; Bedtime
LAST night, in some lost mood of meditation,
The while my dreamy vision ranged the far
Unfathomable arches of creation,
I saw a falling star:
And as my eyes swept round the path it embered
With the swift-dying glory of its glow,
With sudden intuition I remembered
A wish of long ago --
A wish that, were it made -- so ran the fancy
Of credulous young lover and of lass --
As fell a star, by some strange necromancy,
Would surely come to pass.
And, of itself, the wish, reiterated
A thousand times in youth, flashed o'er my brain,
And, like the star, as soon obliterated,
Dropped into night again.
For my old heart had wished for the unending
Devotion of a little maid of nine --
And that the girl-heart, with the woman's blending,
Might be forever mine.
And so it was, with eyelids raised, and weighty
With ripest clusterings of sorrow's dew,
I cried aloud through Heaven: "O little Katie!
When will my wish come true?"
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