Swaying trees above shaking grass seek here, there rude boy with ample crass. Whom will this brooding wind ensnare those boys of mother’s tears?
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Have you ever heard the wind go “Yooooo”?
’Tis a pitiful sound to hear!
It seems to chill you through and through
With a strange and speechless fear.
’Tis the voice of the night that broods outside
When folks should be asleep,
And many and many’s the time I’ve cried
To the darkness brooding far and wide
Over the land and the deep:
“Whom do you want, O lonely night,
That you wail the long hours through?”
And the night would say in its ghostly way,
My mother told me long ago
(When I was a little lad)
That when the night went wailing so,
Somebody had been bad;
And then, when I was snug in bed,
Whither I had been sent,
With the blankets pulled up round my head,
I’d think of what my mother’d said,
And wonder what boy she meant!
And, “Who’s been bad today?” I’d ask
Of the wind that hoarsely blew,
And the voice would say in its meaningful way,
That this was true I must allow —
You’ll not believe it, though!
Yes, though I’m quite a model now,
I was not always so.
And if you doubt what things I say,
Suppose you make the test;
Suppose, when you’ve been bad some day
And up to bed are sent away
From mother and the rest —
Suppose you ask, “Who has been bad?”
And then you’ll hear what’s true,
For the wind will moan in its ruefulest tone:
— Eugene Field, The Night Wind
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