I think this was my very favourite when I was just a very young girl. ;)


To all the little children: - The happy ones; and sad ones;
The sober and the silent ones; the boisterous and glad ones;
The good ones - Yes, the good ones, too; and all the lovely
bad ones

Little Orphan 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,
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 Watch Out!

Onc't they was a little boy wouldn't say his prayers,—
So when he went to bed at night, away upstairs,
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' cubbyhole, an' press
An' seeked him up the chimbly flue, an' ever'wheres, I guess
But all they ever found was thist his pants a'roundabout
 An' the Gobble-uns 'II git you

Ef you Don't Watch Out!

An once't there was 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' then 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 'Twas all about!
An' the Gobble-uns '11 git you

Ef you Don't Watch Out!

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, and 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 '11 git you

Ef you Don't Watch Out!

©By James Whitcomb Riley
(1849 - 1916)

(Sometimes known as the Children's Poet)

Other Special Poems Index