A Life-Lesson Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

A Life-Lesson

Rating: 3.4


There! little girl; don't cry!
They have broken your doll, I know;
And your tea-set blue,
And your play-house, too,
Are things of the long ago;
But childish troubles will soon pass by. --
There! little girl; don't cry!

There! little girl; don't cry!
They have broken your slate, I know;
And the glad, wild ways
Of your schoolgirl days
Are things of the long ago;
But life and love will soon come by. --
There! little girl; don't cry!

There! little girl; don't cry!
They have broken your heart I know;
And the rainbow gleams
Of your youthful dreams
Are things of the long ago;
But Heaven holds all for which you sigh. --
There! little girl; don't cry!

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Susan Williams 08 October 2015

The stages of a woman's life but with little additions and subtractions it could be the stages of a man's life. We all go through losses and it is sad that it is so

28 2 Reply
Kevin Straw 22 December 2009

There is something wrong with the tenses in the first two verses. The poet sees a little girl crying over her broken doll (in the present tense) , then says that such things are in the past. Similarly in the second verse, the poet solaces the girl with a broken slate, then says such things are “of the long ago”. The third verse is correct the broken heart comes after the dreams. Perhaps the first verse (and the second could be similarly amended) should read: There! little girl; don't cry! They have broken your doll, I know; But your tea-set blue, And your play-house, too, Will be things of the long ago; And childish troubles will soon pass by. - There! little girl; don't cry!

3 13 Reply
Dan Consoer 29 August 2012

Do some silly people really think this is a poem about heaven? It's a poem about little lies, and big. And it ends with a lie about heaven.

3 12 Reply
Rekha Mandagere 22 December 2011

Life is a great lesson, the suffering starts from childhood till end of life. First the dolls and are broken by peer group and later heart is broken by persons who we love.The life is tragic as well as comic.never cry for the loss. there is hidden voice appealing us to face life boldly. Nice theme is presented with suitable objects.

10 2 Reply
Joseph Poewhit 22 December 2009

Portrays the folly of mortal life well, next to the Kingdom of GOD

3 5 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 23 February 2020

There! little girl; don't cry! .... But Heaven holds all for which you sigh. - There! little girl; don't cry! //////// condolence and encouragement // excellent expression

1 1 Reply
Riza Braholli 18 June 2018

Thank you James... You talk to the little girl, but I heard the regrets of your heart!

1 0 Reply
Riza Braholli 18 June 2018

the beautyful poem. thank you James! ...You talk to the little girl, but I heard the regrets of your heart

0 0 Reply
Sasha 17 May 2018

Add a comment

0 0 Reply
Nomsa magagula 13 May 2018

This poem teaches me a lesson iknow were iam now

0 0 Reply
BEST POEMS
BEST POETS
READ THIS POEM IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Close
Error Success