James Whitcomb Riley

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

Dream-March - Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

'Wasn't it a funny dream!--perfectly bewild'rin'!--
Last night, and night before, and night before that,
Seemed like I saw the march o' regiments o' children,
Marching to the robin's fife and cricket's rat-ta-tat!
Lily-banners overhead, with the dew upon 'em,
On flashed the little army, as with sword and flame;
Like the buzz o' bumble-wings, with the honey on 'em,
Came an eerie, cheery chant, chiming as it came:--


_Where go the children? Travelling! Travelling_!
_Where go the children, travelling ahead_?
_Some go to kindergarten; some go to day-school_;
_Some go to night-school; and some go to bed_!


Smooth roads or rough roads, warm or winter weather,
On go the children, tow-head and brown,
Brave boys and brave girls, rank and file together,
Marching out of Morning-Land, over dale and down:


Some go a-gypsying out in country places--
Out through the orchards, with blossoms on the boughs
Wild, sweet, and pink and white as their own glad faces;
And some go, at evening, calling home the cows.


_Where go the children? Travelling! Travelling_!
_Where go the children, travelling ahead_?
_Some go to foreign wars, and camps by the firelight_--
_Some go to glory so; and some go to bed_!


Some go through grassy lanes leading to the city--
Thinner grow the green trees and thicker grows the dust;
Ever, though, to little people any path is pretty
So it leads to newer lands, as they know it must.
Some go to singing less; some go to list'ning;
Some go to thinking over ever-nobler themes;
Some go anhungered, but ever bravely whistling,
Turning never home again only in their dreams.

_Where go the children? Travelling! Travelling_!
_Where go the children, travelling ahead_?
_Some go to conquer things; some go to try them_;
_Some go to dream them; and some go to bed_!


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010



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