Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WHERE-AWAY, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY

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WHERE-AWAY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O the lands of where-away!
Last Line: Find in lands of where-away!
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Children; Fantasy; Flowers; Kisses; Childhood

O THE Lands of Where-Away!
Tell us -- tell us -- where are they?
Through the darkness and the dawn
We have journeyed on and on --
From the cradle to the cross --
From possession unto loss. --
Seeking still, from day to day,
For the Lands of Where-Away.

When our baby-feet were first
Planted where the daisies burst,
And the greenest grasses grew
In the fields we wandered through, --
On, with childish discontent,
Ever on and on we went,
Hoping still to pass, some day,
O'er the verge of Where-Away.

Roses laid their velvet lips
On our own, with fragrant sips;
But their kisses held us not,
All their sweetness we forgot; --
Though the brambles in our track
Plucked at us to hold us back --
"Just ahead," we used to say,
"Lie the Lands of Where-Away."

Children at the pasture-bars,
Through the dusk, like glimmering stars,
Waved their hands that we should bide
With them over eventide:
Down the dark their voices failed
Falteringly, as they hailed,
And died into yesterday --
Night ahead and -- Where-Away?

Twining arms about us thrown --
Warm caresses, all our own,
Can but stay us for a spell --
Love hath little new to tell
To the soul in need supreme,
Aching ever with the dream
Of the endless bliss it may
Find in Lands of Where-Away!

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