Do you want a peep into Bedlam town?
Then come with me as the day swings down

Into his cradle, whose rocker's rim
Some people call the horizon dim.

All the mischief of all the fates
Seem to centre in four little pates.

Just an hour before we say:
It's time for bed now, stop your play.

Oh, the racket and noise they roar,
As they prance like a caravan over the floor,

With never a thought of the head that aches;
And never a heed to the, Mercy sakes!

And Pity save us! and Oh, dear, dear!
That all but the culprits plainly hear.

A monkey, a parrot, a Guinea hen,
Warriors, elephants Indian men,

A Salvation Army, a grizzly bear,
Are all at once in the nursery there.

And when the clock in the hall strikes seven
It sounds to us like a voice from Heaven.

And each of the elves, in a warm nightgown,
Marches away out of Bedlam, town.

                 --Ella Wheeler Wilcox, in Chicago Herald.

The Times-Democrat [New Orleans] 5 July, 1885: 7.

Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.

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