James Whitcomb Riley

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

The Brook-Song


Little brook! Little brook!
You have such a happy look--
Such a very merry manner, as you swerve and
curve and crook--
And your ripples, one and one,
Reach each other's hands and run
Like laughing little children in the sun!

Little brook, sing to me:
Sing about a bumblebee
That tumbled from a lily-bell and grumbled
mumblingly,
Because he wet the film
Of his wings, and had to swim,
While the water-bugs raced round and
laughed at him!

Little brook-sing a song
Of a leaf that sailed along
Down the golden-braided centre of your current
swift and strong,
And a dragon-fly that lit
On the tilting rim of it,
And rode away and wasn't scared a bit.

And sing--how oft in glee
Came a truant boy like me,
Who loved to lean and listen to your lilting
melody,
Till the gurgle and refrain
Of your music in his brain
Wrought a happiness as keen to him
as pain.

Little brook-laugh and leap!
Do not let the dreamer weep:
Sing him all the songs of summer till he sink in
softest sleep;
And then sing soft and low
Through his dreams of long ago--
Sing back to him the rest he used to
know!

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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