James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

Leonainie - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

Leonainie--Angels named her;
And they took the light
Of the laughing stars and framed her
In a smile of white;
And they made her hair of gloomy
Midnight, and her eyes of bloomy
Moonshine, and they brought her to me
In the solemn night.--

In a solemn night of summer,
When my heart of gloom
Blossomed up to greet the comer
Like a rose in bloom;
All forebodings that distressed me
I forgot as Joy caressed me--
(LYING Joy! that caught and pressed me
In the arms of doom!)

Only spake the little lisper
In the Angel-tongue;
Yet I, listening, heard her whisper,--
'Songs are only sung
Here below that they may grieve you--
Tales but told you to deceive you,--
So must Leonainie leave you
While her love is young.'

Then God smiled and it was morning.
Matchless and supreme
Heaven's glory seemed adorning
Earth with its esteem:
Every heart but mine seemed gifted
With the voice of prayer, and lifted
Where my Leonainie drifted
From me like a dream.


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010



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