TOMMY’S DREAM; OR, THE GEOGRAPHY DEMON.
I hate my geography lesson!
It’s nothing but nonsense and names.
To bother me so every Thursday,
I think it’s the greatest of shames.
The brooklets flow into the rivers,
The rivers flow into the sea;
For my part, I hope they enjoy it!
But what does it matter to me?
Of late even more I’ve disliked it,
More thoroughly odious it seems,
Ever since that sad night of last winter,
When I had that most frightful of dreams.
I’d studied two hours that evening,
On mountains and rivers and lakes;
When I’d promised to go down to Grandpa’s,
For one of Aunt Susan’s plum-cakes.
She sent me one, though, and I ate it
On the stairs, before going to bed;
And those stupid old mountains and rivers
Were dancing all night through my head.
I dreamed that a horrible monster
Came suddenly into my room,–
A frightful Geography Demon,
Enveloped in darkness and gloom.
His body and head like a mountain,
A volcano on top for hat;
His arms and his legs were like rivers,
With a brook round his neck for cravat.
He laid on my trembling shoulder
His fingers cold, clammy, and long;
And rolling his red eyes upon me,
He roared out this horrible song:–
“Come! come! rise and come
Away to the banks of the Muskingum!
It rolls o’er the plains of Timbuctoo,
With the Peak of Teneriffe just in view;
And the cataracts leap in the pale moonshine,
As they dance o’er the cliffs of Brandywine.
“Flee! flee! rise and flee
Away to the banks of the Tombigbee!
We’ll pass by Alaska’s flowery strand,
Where the emerald towers of Pekin stand;
We’ll pass it by, and we’ll rest awhile
On Michillimackinack’s tropic isle;
While the apes of Barbary frisk around,
And the parrots crow with a lovely sound.
“Hie! hie! rise and hie
Away to the banks of the Yang-tse-kai!
There the giant mountains of Oshkosh stand,
And the icebergs gleam through the shifting sand;
While the elephant sits in the palm-tree high,
And the cannibal feasts upon bad-boy pie.
“Go! go! rise and go
Away to the banks of the Hoang-ho!
There the Chickasaw sachem is making his tea,
And the kettle boils and waits for thee.
I’ll smite thee, ho! and I’ll lay thee low,
On the beautiful banks of the Hoang-ho!”
These terrible words were still sounding
Like trumpets and drums through my head,
When the monster clutched tighter my shoulder,
And dragged me half out of the bed.
In terror I clung to the bedpost,
But the faithless bedpost broke;
I screamed out aloud in my anguish,
And suddenly–well–I awoke!!–
No monster–no music–all silence,
Save mother’s soft accents so mild:
“No, Father, you need not be anxious!
I know now what troubles the child.
I’ll give him a little hot ginger
As soon as he’s fairly awake;
His frightful Geography Demon
Is just his Aunt Susan’s plum-cake!”
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Read these beautiful poems and rhymes for kids. List of the poems included in this poem eBook:
- Tommy’s Dream; Or, The Geography Demon
- The Eve Of The Glorious Fourth
- A Party
- Jumbo Jee
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