Problems

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

There are some things I call riddles,
No one can explain or tell:
What's the sound that comes from fiddles,
Or the noise made by a bell?

What is silence? what is thunder?
And why do we laugh and weep?
But the strangest thing I wonder
Where we go when we go to-sleep?

What are words? What makes our voices?
What's the reason we're not dumb?
What is music? What are noises?
I have thought about them some.

I have often asked my father;
He just laughed and said, "You're deep!"
But what's given me most bother
'S where we go when we go to-sleep.

There's the wind; no one can see it;
Yet it's stronger than a man:
Where's the boy that would n't be it?
Making all the noise it can.

What is it that makes it hover?
And what makes it roar and sweep?
But the thing I've wondered over
'S where we go when we go to-sleep.

What makes leaves and what makes flowers,
Whence they come and where they go,
And what is it we call"hours, "
Those are things I'd like to know.

What's the scent of a morning-glory,
Or a rose, that none can keep?
But the thing that gives me worry
'S where we go when we go to sleep.

What is sweet and what is sour?
What is taste and what is smell?
What is color in a flower?
Is there any one can tell?

Why is flavor in an apple?
And what is it? Asking's cheap.
But the question I would grapple
'S where we go when we go to-sleep.

And why do we walk? what makes us?
Trees don't, growing at our door:
And what is it in us wakes us
When we can't sleep any more?

And what makes us grow and never
Stay just babies? crow and creep?
But the question is forever,
Where do we go when we go to-sleep?

What is that which we call feeling?
And what makes our eyes to see?
"Now," my father says, "you're dealing
With some things too deep for me.

These things, son, you'd best abandon.
They have muddled men a heap
Things I'd like to lay my hand on!
You had better go to-sleep."

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