Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. I. Of Home: of Friendship
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume I. Of Home: of Friendship.  1904.
Poems of Home: II. For Children
Seein’ Things
Eugene Field (1850–1895)
I AIN’T afeard 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!” and 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 an’ so creepylike they never make a sound!        10
Sometimes they are as black as ink, an’ other times they ’re white—
But the 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 bit 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 that time I never slep’ a mite—
It ’s almost allus 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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