Poems of Childhood/The Night Wind

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Have you ever heard the wind go "Yooooo"?
   'T is a pitiful sound to hear!
It seems to chill you through and through
   With a strange and speechless fear.
'T is 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 tad)
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 to-day?" 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 ruefullest tone:

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.