James Whitcomb Riley

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

A Life-Lesson - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

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 about A Life-Lesson by James Whitcomb Riley

  • Riza Braholli (6/18/2018 12:27:00 PM)


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

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  • Riza Braholli (6/18/2018 12:21:00 PM)


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

  • (5/17/2018 12:37:00 PM)


    Add a comment (Report) Reply

  • (5/13/2018 11:42:00 AM)


    This poem teaches me a lesson iknow were iam now (Report) Reply

  • (3/10/2018 12:04:00 PM)


    Please read (Report) Reply

  • Ruta Mohapatra (11/24/2017 11:21:00 AM)


    ' But Heaven holds all for which you sigh' - Liked this line. (Report) Reply

  • Madhabi Banerjee (2/20/2017 4:03:00 AM)


    excellent. I love this several times. thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Madhabi Banerjee (1/2/2017 12:40:00 PM)


    beautiful written. i enjoy it (Report) Reply

  • (11/21/2016 4:43:00 PM)


    (A Life-Lesson - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley.) a poem with great overture. And I’ve enjoyed it for the reading. (Report) Reply

  • Sindiswa Ndamane (6/3/2016 1:08:00 PM)


    i love the realities contained in this poem...beautifully written.. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (10/8/2015 12:59:00 PM)


    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 (Report) Reply

  • Melvina Germain (7/30/2015 7:54:00 PM)


    I found this poem soothing, love it..... (Report) Reply

  • (12/22/2014 8:15:00 AM)


    The great child's poet! What a wonderful time it must have been when the neighborhood children would sit on his porch drinking lemonade and listening to his stories.... A great man and benefactor to the Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, one of the leading hospitals for children in the nation.... It is said that the neighborhood children brought up the fund for his memorial after his passing by donating coins. It is still tradition to leave coins at his memorial in Crown Hill cemetery in Indianapolis, which are used to aid the children's hospital. (Report) Reply

  • Padma Devkota (12/23/2013 8:54:00 PM)


    There was a song that went something like this: Now there's bubble gum/ All over your hair/ Your sling shot is broken/ But you mustn't care /... For cowboys never cry! I'm trying to recall the whole song. This poem reminds me of this song. (Report) Reply

  • (12/23/2013 8:50:00 AM)


    Interesting poem, seems like she has a tough life, constantly told that her pain will pass and that the future holds better (Report) Reply

  • Arnab Sen (12/22/2013 11:40:00 PM)


    nice &fantastic...................................... (Report) Reply

  • (12/22/2013 1:44:00 AM)


    Consoling! Comforting! Nice flow of words...thumb-up! (Report) Reply

  • (8/29/2012 10:04:00 PM)


    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. (Report) Reply

  • (12/22/2011 9:03:00 AM)


    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. (Report) Reply

  • Sylva Portoian (12/23/2009 4:29:00 AM)


    Thanks for sending this poem
    We can't read every written piece.
    I call it 'The Story of Every Girl'
    Pruchnicki's soulful comments
    Gave more glitter
    To this innocent eternal poem.
    (Report) Reply

Read all 30 comments »

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Read poems about / on: girl, rainbow, house, heaven, life, dream



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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