#ClassicPoetry – #LittleOrphantAnnie – #JamesWhitcombRiley – #Halloween

Thought I’d share one more “classic” poem by Indiana’s Poet Laureate, James Whitcomb Riley. Halloween is coming up next week, and this was always one of my favorite “spooky” poems.  Next time around, we’ll be taking a look at a completely different poet and her work, but for now, this feels more appropriate. Enjoy!

Little Orphant Annie

James Whitcomb Riley – 1849-1916

Little Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay,
An’ wash the cups an’ saucers up, an’ bresh the crumbs away,
An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth, an’ sweep,
An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn her board-an’-keep;
An’ all us other childern, when the supper things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an’ has the mostest fun
A-list’nin’ to the witch-tales ‘at Annie tells about,
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘at gits you
             Ef you

Onc’t they was a little boy wouldn’t say his prayers,—
So when he went to bed at night, away up stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an’ his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An’ when they turn’t the kivvers down, he wasn’t there at all!
An’ they seeked him in the rafter-room, an’ cubby-hole, an’ press,
An’ seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an’ ever’wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found was thist his pants an’ roundabout–
An’ the Gobble-uns’ll git you
             Ef you

An’ one time a little girl ‘ud allus laugh an’ grin,
An’ make fun of ever’one, an’ all her blood an’ kin;
An’ onc’t, when they was “company,” an’ ole folks was there,
She mocked ‘em an’ shocked ‘em, an’ said she didn’t care!
An’ thist as she kicked her heels, an’ turn’t to run an’ hide,
They was two great big Black Things a-standin’ by her side,
An’ they snatched her through the ceilin’ ‘fore she knowed what she’s about!
An’ the Gobble-uns’ll git you
             Ef you

An’ little Orphant Annie says when the blaze is blue,
An’ the lamp-wick sputters, an’ the wind goes woo-oo!
An’ you hear the crickets quit, an’ the moon is gray,
An’ the lightnin’-bugs in dew is all squenched away,–
You better mind yer parents, an’ yer teachers fond an’ dear,
An’ churish them ‘at loves you, an’ dry the orphant’s tear,
An’ he’p the pore an’ needy ones ‘at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns’ll git you
             Ef you

Happy Halloween Next Week, Everybody!
(And be sure not to let the Gobble-uns get you!)

23 thoughts on “#ClassicPoetry – #LittleOrphantAnnie – #JamesWhitcombRiley – #Halloween

    • So glad you enjoyed it, Trish. I remember reading this one long about the 6th grade or so, and I loved it, too. Riley had a way with country dialect and making a point or two.

      Thanks so much for stopping by to let me know your thoughts! Have a great day and here’s to a Happy and SAFE Halloween!! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Haven’t read it myself since somewhere around the 7th grade or so, Jeanne. I loved when we studied poetry in English class, and Riley was always a favorite of mine, even way back then.

      Thanks for stopping by today and taking time to say hello! Have a great day! 😀 ❤


    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Priscilla. When it comes to dialect and folksy poems, Riley was a master, for sure. And this one seemed appropriate for the approach of Halloween.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking a moment to let me know your thoughts. And here’s to a great day! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you think so, Jan. I’ve loved this one since middle school, when I was first introduced to Riley’s work. (Among many others.) It fits the mood to me, for sure.

      Thanks so much for stopping by today and taking a moment to say hello! 😀 ❤


    • That’s for sure, Denise. Better mind your manners and be kind to folks. Those gobble-uns mean business! 😨

      Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks so much for stopping by to let me know! 😀 ❤


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