Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WHEN BABY SLEPT, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY



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WHEN BABY SLEPT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When weenty - teenty baby
Last Line: When baby donned her dreams, and slept.
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Babies; Dreams; Sleep; Infants; Nightmares


WHEN weenty-teenty Baby slept, --
With voices stilled we lightly stepped
And knelt be ide the rug where she
Had fallen in sleep all wearily;
And when a dimpled hand would stir,
We breathlessly bent over her
And kissed the truant strands that swept
The tranc'd lids and the dreams that kept --
When Baby blinked her Court and slept.

When Baby waived her throne and slept,
It seemed the sunshine lightlier crept
Along the carpet and the wall,
Her playhouse, tea-set, pets and all: --
A loud fly hushed its hum and made
The faintest Fairy-serenade,
That lulled all waking things except
The goldfish as he flashed and leapt --
When Baby doffed her crown and slept.

When sunset veiled her as she slept,
No other sight might intercept
Our love-looks, meant for her alone
The fairest blossom ever blown
In all God's garden-lands below!
Our Spirits whispered, Even so,
And made high mirth in undertone,
In stress of joy all sudden grown
A laugh of tears: -- for thus we wept,
When Baby donned her dreams, and slept.





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