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The Night Wind

From The Birmingham Age Herald, September 10, 1913. By Eugene Field.

Did you ever hear the wind go “Yooooo?”
    ’Tis a pitiful sound to hear!
It seems to thrill you through and through
    With a strange and speechless fear.
’Tis the voice of the night that broods outside
    When folk 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 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 a 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 ruefullest tone:

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