Poets | Bookstore | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
December 20th, 2014 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 279,673 comments.
James Whitcomb Riley - Nine Little Goblins

THEY all climbed up on a high board-fence---
    Nine little Goblins, with green-glass eyes---
Nine little Goblins that had no sense,
    And couldn't tell coppers from cold mince pies;
        And they all climbed up on the fence, and sat---
        And I asked them what they were staring at.

And the first one said, as he scratched his head
    With a queer little arm that reached out of his ear
And rasped its claws in his hair so red---
    "This is what this little arm is fer!"
        And he scratched and stared, and the next one said,
        "How on earth do you scratch your head ?"
Nine Little Gobblins

And he laughed like the screech of a rusty hinge---
    Laughed and laughed till his face grew black;
And when he clicked, with a final twinge
    Of his stifling laughter, he thumped his back
        With a fist that grew on the end of his tail
        Till the breath came back to his lips so pale.

And the third little Goblin leered round at me---
    And there were no lids on his eyes at all---
And he clucked one eye, and he says, says he,
    "What is the style of your socks this fall ?"
        And he clapped his heels---and I sighed to see
        That he had hands where his feet should be.

Then a bald-faced Goblin, gray and grim,
    Bowed his head, and I saw him slip
His eyebrows off, as I looked at him,
    And paste them over his upper lip;
        And then he moaned in remorseful pain---
        "Would---Ah, would I'd me brows again!"

And then the whole of the Goblin band
    Rocked on the fence-top to and fro,
And clung, in a long row, hand in hand,
    Singing the songs that they used to know---
        Singing the songs that their grandsires sung
        In the goo-goo days of the Goblin-tongue.

And ever they kept their green-glass eyes
    Fixed on me with a stony stare---
Till my own grew glazed with a dread surmise,
    And my hat whooped up on my lifted hair,
        And I felt the heart in my breast snap to
        As you've heard the lid of a snuff-box do.

And they sang "You're asleep! There is no board-fence,
    And never a Goblin with green-glass eyes!---
"Tis only a vision the mind invents
    After a supper of cold mince-pies,---
And you're doomed to dream this way," they said,---
"And you sha'n't wake up till you're clean plum dead!"

Share |

Added: Mar 1 2005 | Viewed: 8517 times | Comments and analysis of Nine Little Goblins by James Whitcomb Riley Comments (215)

Nine Little Goblins - Comments and Information

Poet: James Whitcomb Riley
Poem: Nine Little Goblins

Comment 215 of 215, added on August 7th, 2014 at 2:42 PM.
aAAWEuPRgWxNoEsPaU

Muchos Gracias for your post.

personalised iphon 5s cover from Russia
Comment 214 of 215, added on August 7th, 2014 at 2:18 PM.
pCYpjpbokINSHqw

wow, awesome article.

nobis women from Taiwan
Comment 213 of 215, added on August 7th, 2014 at 12:55 PM.
LsAJudRPYPRjZnPJ

wow, awesome blog post.Much thanks again. Awesome.

workmans comp lawyer from Australia

Are you looking for more information on this poem? Perhaps you are trying to analyze it? The poem, Nine Little Goblins, has received 215 comments. Click here to read them, and perhaps post a comment of your own.

Poem Info

Riley Info
Copyright © 2000-2012 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links | Bookstore