Classic and Contemporary Poetry
TO LEONAINIE, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY Poet's Biography
First Line: Leonainie!' angels missed her
Last Line: Than the morning skies.
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Angels; Death - Children; Heaven; Tears; Death - Babies; Paradise
"LEONAINIE!" angels missed her --
Baby angels -- they
Who behind the stars had kissed her
E'er she came away;
And their little, wandering faces
Drooped o'er Heaven's hiding-places
Whiter than the lily-vases
On the Sabbath day.
"Leonainie!" crying, crying,
Crying through the night,
Till her lisping lips replying,
Laughing with delight,
Drew us nearer yet, and nearer
That we might the better hear her
Baby-words, and love her dearer
Hearing not aright.
Only spake the little lisper
In the Angel-tongue,
Fainter than a fairy-whisper
Murmured in among
Dewy blossoms covered over
With the fragrant tufts of clover,
Where the minstrel honey-rover
Twanged his wings and sung.
"Leonainie!" -- And the glimmer
Of her starry eyes
Faded, and the world grew dimmer
E'en as Paradise
Blossomed with a glory brighter
Than the waning stars, and whiter
Than the dying moon, and lighter
Than the morning skies.
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