James Whitcomb Riley (7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)
Sweet little myth of the nursery story--
Earliest love of mine infantile breast,
Be something tangible, bloom in thy glory
Into existence, as thou art addressed!
Hasten! appear to me, guileless and good--
Thou are so dear to me, Red Riding-Hood!
Azure-blue eyes, in a marvel of wonder,
Over the dawn of a blush breaking out;
Sensitive nose, with a little smile under
Trying to hide in a blossoming pout--
Couldn't be serious, try as you would,
Little mysterious Red Riding-Hood!
Hah! little girl, it is desolate, lonely,
Out in this gloomy old forest of Life!--
Here are not pansies and buttercups only--
Brambles and briers as keen as a knife;
And a Heart, ravenous, trails in the wood
For the meal have he must,--Red Riding-Hood!
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