James Whitcomb Riley

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

Previous Month November 2014 Next Month
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Poem of the Day
Select a day from the calendar.
Would you like to see the poem of the day in your e-mail box every morning?
Your email address:
  Subscribe FREE

Little Orphant Annie

To all the little children: -- The happy ones; and sad ones;
The sober and the silent ones; the boisterous and glad ones;
The good ones -- Yes, the good ones, too; and all the lovely bad ones.

Little Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
An' wash the cups an' 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

Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn't say his prayers,--
An' 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 wuzn'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 wuz thist his pants an' roundabout:--
An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you

An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin,
An' make fun of ever' one, an' all her blood-an'-kin;
An' wunst, when they was 'company,' an' ole folks wuz 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 wuz 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

An' little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,
An' the lamp-wick 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 parunts, an' yer teachurs fond an' 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

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Edited: Saturday, November 12, 2011

Do you like this poem?
21 person liked.
4 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: fun, fire, girl, house, moon, wind, night, running

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Little Orphant Annie by James Whitcomb Riley )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie Dale Lain (10/31/2013 11:49:00 PM)

    My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Bertha Griffith, used to read this poem to us at Halloween time. She read it so dramatically that we all believed it was true. Metaphorically, I believe it is. She was one of the very best teachers and role models I had the good luck to know- a saint. I think of how much I appreciate her every year around Halloween when I again read this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Tasha Linn (10/7/2009 8:20:00 AM)

    I grew up in Indianapolis, and my grandparents were from Greenfield. I can remember soo many times before bed my grandma quoting this poem to me. I loved it. It gave me shivers then and made me think befre I gave them attitude... I would look around for those 'two great big black things' before I smarted off... lol. I think I might have to teach it to my 6 year old, or at least quote it more. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Joey Valenzuela (9/23/2009 10:37:00 PM)

    'tis great, really, to horror your young ones if they become spoiled..hehe...and this poem is a real good one, , (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 156 Points Marilyn Lott (5/30/2007 5:01:00 PM)

    My dad read this to me and my brother when we were children. I still have the Jr. Classic set of books that it was in. I read them to my kids and now grandkids. It's a wonderful poem that always made me smile! So nice to find it here and to also read more of Mr. Riley's work.
    Marilyn (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Krista F (10/5/2006 1:08:00 AM)

    I loved this poem, my mother would recite it to us when we would go to bed at night and scare the heck out of us. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Annette Personett (11/20/2005 5:38:00 AM)

    I've been hunting for this forever, my Grandma used to read this to all us kids when we were little, I never knew the poet's name, or even the name of the poem. I could only remember bits of it, but today I remembered the first 2 lines and was able to find this site. I'm so happy! ! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Cassie Bills (10/8/2004 8:18:00 PM)

    That is my favorite James Whitcomb Riley poem my teachers always use to read that to us during Riley Days. They'd always love the part where it says mind your parents and your TEACHERS found and dear... I have other favorite poems by Mr. Riley.... (Report) Reply

Read all 13 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  4. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  5. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  6. No Man Is An Island, John Donne
  7. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  8. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  9. Inspiration, Henry David Thoreau
  10. observing shells on your shore, Mandolyn ...

Poem of the Day

poet Henry David Thoreau

Whate'er we leave to God, God does,
And blesses us;
The work we choose should be our own,
God leaves alone.

If with light head erect I sing,
...... Read complete »


Member Poem

New Poems

  2. Memories of river., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  3. Life musings., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  4. Record, Holy Man
  5. observing shells on your shore, Mandolyn ...
  6. Fly, Holy Man
  7. Happy I go Unhappy I Go, Akhtar Jawad
  8. Magical Glass of Water, Vera Sidhwa
  9. Timeless Ticking, Justin Sisson
  10. With terror, hasmukh amathalal
[Hata Bildir]