James Whitcomb Riley

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

Through Sleepy-Land Poem by James Whitcomb Riley


Where do you go when you go to sleep,
Little Boy! Little Boy! where?
'Way--'way in where's Little Bo-Peep,
And Little Boy Blue, and the Cows and Sheep
A-wandering 'way in there;--in there--
A-wandering 'way in there!

And what do you see when lost in dreams,
Little Boy, 'way in there?
Firefly-glimmers and glowworm-gleams,
And silvery, low, slow-sliding streams,
And mermaids, smiling out--'way in where
They're a-hiding--'way in there!

Where do you go when the Fairies call,
Little Boy! Little Boy! where?
Wade through the clews of the grasses tall,
Hearing the weir and the waterfall
And the Wee Folk--'way in there--in there--
And the Kelpies--'way in there!

And what do you do when you wake at dawn,
Little Boy! Little Boy! what?
Hug my Mommy and kiss her on
Her smiling eyelids, sweet and wan,
And tell her everything I've forgot
About, a-wandering 'way in there--
Through the blind-world 'way in there!

Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010

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