A Dream Lesson
Once there was a little boy who wouldn't go to bed,
When they hinted at the subject he would only shake his head,
When they asked him his intentions, he informed them pretty straight
That he wouldn't go to bed at all, and Nursey needn't wait.
As their arguments grew stronger, and their attitude more strict,
I grieve to say that naughty boy just yelled and screamed and kicked.
And he made up awful faces, and he told them up and down
That he wouldn't go to bed for all the nurses in the town.
Then Nursey lost her patience, and although it wasn't right,
Retorted that for all she cared he might sit up all night.
He approved of this arrangement, and he danced a jig for joy,
And turned a somersault with glee; he _was_ a naughty boy.
And so they all went off to bed and left him sitting there,
Right in the corner by the fire in Grandpa's big armchair.
He read his books and played his games,--he even sang a song
And thought how lovely it would be to sit up all night long.
But soon his games grew stupid, and his puzzles wouldn't work;
He drew himself up stiffly with a sudden little jerk,
And he said, 'I am not sleepy, and I love to play alone--
And--I--think--' the rest was mumbled in a drowsy monotone.
He leaned back on the cushions like that night he had the croup;
His head began to wobble and his eyes began to droop;
He closed them for a minute, just to see how it would seem,
And straightway he was sound asleep, and dreamed this awful dream!
He thought he saw a garden filled with flowers and roses gay,
A great big gardener with a hoe came walking down his way;
'Ah, ha!' exclaimed the gardener, as he clutched him by the head,
'Here's a fine specimen I've found; I'll plant him in this bed!'
He held the boy in one big hand, unheeding how he cried,
And with the other dug a hole enormous, deep, and wide.
He jammed the little fellow in, and said in gruffest tone,
'This is the bed for naughty boys who won't go to their own.'
And then the dirt was shovelled in,--it covered up his toes,
His ankles, knees, and waist and arms, and higher yet it rose.
For still the gardener shovelled on, not noticing his cries;
It came up to his chin and mouth--it almost reached his eyes;
Just then he gathered all his strength and gave an awful scream,
And woke himself, and put an end to that terrific dream.
And he said, as Nursey tucked him up and bade him snugly rest,
'When I am planted in a bed, I like my own the best.'
Carolyn Wells's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (A Dream Lesson by Carolyn Wells )
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe