Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LITTLE ORPHANT ANNIE, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY



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LITTLE ORPHANT ANNIE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Little orphant annie's come to our house to stay
Last Line: Out!
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Variant Title(s): The Elf Child
Subject(s): Children; Fairies; Halloween; Hope; Nostalgia; Childhood; Elves; Optimism


LITTLE Orphant Annie's come to our house to
stay,
An' wash the cups and saucers up, an' brush the
crumbs away,
An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the
hearth, an' sweep,
An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn
her board-an'-keep;
An' all us other childern, when the supper things
is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest
fun
A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about.
An' the Gobble-uns'at gits you
Ef you
Don't
Watch
Out!
Onc't they was a little boy wouldn't say his
prayers, --
So when he went to bed at night, away up stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an' his Daddy heerd
him bawl,
An' when they turn't the kivvers down, he wasn't
there at all!
An' they seeked him in the rafter-room, an' cubby-
hole, an press,
An' seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an' ever'-
wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found was thist his pants an'
roundabout!
An' the Gobble-uns'll git you
Ef you
Don't
Watch
Out!
An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin,
An' make fun of ever' one, an' all her blood an'
kin;
An' onc't when they was "company," an' ole
folks was there,
She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em, an' said she
didn't care!
An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run
an' hide,
They was two great big Black Things a-standin'
by her side,
An' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'fore she
knowed what she's about!
An' the Gobble-uns'll git you
Ef you
Don't
Watch
Out!
An' little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is
blue,
An' the lampwick sputters, an' the wind goes
woo-oo!
An' you hear the crickets quit, an' the moon is
gray,
An' the lightnin'-bugs in dew is all squenched
away, --
You better mind yer parents, and yer teachers
fond and dear,
An' churish them 'at loves you, an' dry the
orphant's tear,
An' he'p the pore an' needy ones 'at clusters all
about,
Er the Gobble-uns'll git you
Ef you
Don't
Watch
Out!




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