Red Riding-Hood

A poem by James Whitcomb Riley

Sweet little myth of the nursery story -
Earliest love of mine infantile breast,
Be something tangible, bloom in thy glory
Into existence, as thou art addressed!
Hasten! appear to me, guileless and good -
Thou are so dear to me, Red Riding-Hood!

Azure-blue eyes, in a marvel of wonder,
Over the dawn of a blush breaking out;
Sensitive nose, with a little smile under
Trying to hide in a blossoming pout -
Couldn't be serious, try as you would,
Little mysterious Red Riding-Hood!

Hah! little girl, it is desolate, lonely,
Out in this gloomy old forest of Life! -
Here are not pansies and buttercups only -
Brambles and briers as keen as a knife;
And a Heart, ravenous, trails in the wood
For the meal have he must, - Red Riding-Hood!

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