The Lamplight Camp

By Madison Cawein

Whenever on the windowpane
I hear the fingers of the rain,
And in the old trees, near the door,
The wind that whispers more and more,
Bright in the light made by the lamp
I make myself a hunter’s camp.
The shadows of the desk and chairs
Are trees and woods; the corners, lairs
Where wolves and wildcats lie in wait
For any one who walks too late;
Upon my knees with my toy-gun
I hunt and slaughter many a one.
And now I rescue Riding Hood
From the great Wolf within the wood;
Now little Silver Locks, who flies
From the Three Bears with angry eyes;
And many a little girl who dwells
In story books, as mother tells.
So up and down and all around
My wildwood camp I prowl or bound,
From corner unto corner till
I reach the door and windowsill,
Where Jack-o’-Lantern hides, I know,
Outside the lamplight’s steady glow.
And he, the goblin-fiend, — my nurse
Once scared me with, when I was worse
Than naughty; would not go to sleep,
But keep awake; and cry and creep
Out of my bed, — the goblin black,
The foul fiend, Flibberty-Jibberty Jack.
And when I think perhaps that these
May catch me, on my father’s knees
I climb and listen to the rain
And wind outside the windowpane,
And feel so safe with him that I
Go right to sleep, and never cry.

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