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Seein’ Things – Eugene Field


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Seein’ Things

I AIN’T afraid uv snakes or toads, or bugs or worms or mice,
An’ things ‘at girls are skeered uv I think are awful nice!
I’m pretty brave I guess; an’ yet I hate to go to bed,
For, when I’m tucked up warm an snug an’ when my prayers are said,
Mother tells me “Happy Dreams” an’ takes away the light,
An’ leaves me lyin’ all alone an’ seein’ things at night!

Sometimes they’re in the corner, sometimes they’re by the door,
Sometimes they’re all a-standin’ in the middle uv the floor;
Sometimes they are a-sittin’ down, sometimes they’re walkin’ round
So softly and so creepy-like they never make a sound!
Sometimes they are as black as ink, an’ other times they’re white—
But color ain’t no difference when you see things at night!

Once, when I licked a feller ‘at had just moved on our street,
An’ father sent me up to bed without a bite to eat,
I woke up in the dark an saw things standin’ in a row,
A-lookin’ at me cross-eyed an’ p’intin’ at me—so!
Oh, my! I wuz so skeered ‘at time I never slep’ a mite—
It’s almost alluz when I’m bad I see things at night!

Lucky thing I ain’t a girl or I’d be skeered to death!
Bein’ I’m a boy, I duck my head an’ hold my breath.
An’ I am, oh so sorry I’m a naughty boy, an’ then
I promise to be better an’ I say my prayers again!
Gran’ma tells me that’s the only way to make it right
When a feller has been wicked an’ sees things at night!

An’ so when other naughty boys would coax me into sin,
I try to skwush the Tempter’s voice ‘at urges me within;
An’ when they’s pie for supper, or cakes ‘at’s big an’ nice,
I want to—but I do not pass my plate f’r them things twice!
No, ruther let Starvation wipe me slowly out o’ sight
Than I should keep a-livin’ on an’ seein’ things at night!

by Eugene Field. 1850–1895
Louis Untermeyer, ed. (1885–1977). Modern American Poetry. 1919.




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December 1, 2008 Posted by | Eugene Field, _PHOTOGRAPHY, _POETRY | Leave a comment