A Spooky Poem for a Spooky Time of Year

by Seasonal Wisdom on October 27, 2010

Post image for A Spooky Poem for a Spooky Time of Year

This vintage Halloween card is courtesy of riptheskull on Flickr.


Halloween is right around the corner. So, I can’t help but think back on the scariest poem from my childhood. Around this time of year, I simply adored this deliciously creepy delight, which was first published back in 1916 and has been frightening little kids ever since. Be sure and read it out loud with plenty of expression.

Little Orphant Annie
by James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916)

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 Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay,
An’ wash the cups an’ 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 childern, 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!

Vintage card courtesy of riptheskull on Flickr.
Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn’t say his prayers,–

An’ when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an’ his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An’ when they turn’t the kivvers down, he wuzn’t there at all!
An’ they seeked him in the rafter-room, an’ cubby-hole, an’ press,
An’ seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an’ ever’-wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an’ roundabout:–
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
Ef you
Don’t
Watch
Out!

Courtesy of riptheskull.
An’ one time a little girl ‘ud allus laugh an’ grin,

An’ make fun of ever’ one, an’ all her blood-an’-kin;
An’ wunst, when they was “company,” an’ ole folks wuz there,
She mocked ‘em an’ shocked ‘em, an’ said she didn’t care!
An’ thist as she kicked her heels, an’ turn’t to run an’ hide,
They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin’ by her side,
An’ they snatched her through the ceilin’ ‘fore she knowed what she’s about!
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
Ef you
Don’t
Watch
Out!


Courtesy of riptheskull.
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 parunts, an’ yer teachurs 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 ‘ll git you

Ef you
Don’t
Watch
Out!

Can’t get enough? Here are some old Halloween superstitions.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Southern Lady October 28, 2010 at 1:26 am

Very cute. I have not ever seen vintage Halloween cards. Neat. Carla

Reply

Seasonal Wisdom October 28, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Thanks, Carla. I just adore how these old cards capture the spirit of Halloween. Thanks for stopping by. Teresa

Reply

Isabel October 31, 2010 at 6:25 pm

What a creepily charming poem! The vintage cards set it off beautifully.

Reply

Seasonal Wisdom October 31, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Thanks, Isabel. It's always been a favorite of mine… Teresa

Reply

Mary in MO October 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm

LOL! My grandmother used to recite that when I was growing up. I mentioned it on my blog a few days ago.

Reply

Teresa O'Connor October 21, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Mary, thanks for sharing that. It’s one of those poems that stays in your heart for a long time. I’ll go check out your blog now. All best, Teresa

Reply

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