Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1141. Little Orphant Annie
 
By James Whitcomb Riley
 
 
LITTLE Orphant Annie ’s come to our house to stay,
An’ wash the cups and saucers up, an’ brush 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 children, when the supper things is done,        5
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
            Don’t        10
              Watch
                Out!
 
Onc’t they was a little boy would n’t say his pray’rs—
An’ when he went to bed at night, away up stairs,
His mammy heerd him holler, an’ his daddy heerd him bawl,        15
An’ when they turn’t the kivvers down, he was n’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        20
        Ef you
            Don’t
              Watch
                Out!
 
An’ one time a little girl ’ud allus laugh an’ grin,        25
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 did n’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,        30
An’ they snatched her through the ceilin’ ’fore she knowed what she ’s about!
An’ the Gobble-uns ’ll git you
        Ef you
            Don’t
                Watch        35
                    Out!
 
An’ little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,
An’ the lampwick 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 allsquenched away,—        40
You better mind yer parents, and yer teachers fond and 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        45
            Don’t
              Watch
                Out!
 

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