Verse > Anthologies > Louis Untermeyer, ed. > Modern American Poetry
Louis Untermeyer, ed. (1885–1977). Modern American Poetry.  1919.
Eugene Field. 1850–1895
6. 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,         5
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!  10
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,  15
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.  20
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,  25
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!  30

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