Dream-March

A poem by James Whitcomb Riley

"Wasn't it a funny dream! - perfectly bewild'rin'! -
Last night, and night before, and night before that,
Seemed like I saw the march o' regiments o' children,
Marching to the robin's fife and cricket's rat-ta-tat!
Lily-banners overhead, with the dew upon 'em,
On flashed the little army, as with sword and flame;
Like the buzz o' bumble-wings, with the honey on 'em,
Came an eerie, cheery chant, chiming as it came: -


Where go the children? Travelling! Travelling!
Where go the children, travelling ahead?
Some go to kindergarten; some go to day-school;
Some go to night-school; and some go to bed!


Smooth roads or rough roads, warm or winter weather,
On go the children, tow-head and brown,
Brave boys and brave girls, rank and file together,
Marching out of Morning-Land, over dale and down:


Some go a-gypsying out in country places -
Out through the orchards, with blossoms on the boughs
Wild, sweet, and pink and white as their own glad faces;
And some go, at evening, calling home the cows.


Where go the children? Travelling! Travelling!
Where go the children, travelling ahead?
Some go to foreign wars, and camps by the firelight -
Some go to glory so; and some go to bed!


Some go through grassy lanes leading to the city -
Thinner grow the green trees and thicker grows the dust;
Ever, though, to little people any path is pretty
So it leads to newer lands, as they know it must.
Some go to singing less; some go to list'ning;
Some go to thinking over ever-nobler themes;
Some go anhungered, but ever bravely whistling,
Turning never home again only in their dreams.

Where go the children? Travelling! Travelling!
Where go the children, travelling ahead?
Some go to conquer things; some go to try them;
Some go to dream them; and some go to bed!

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