The Land of Candy
I There was once a little boy — So my father told me — who Never cared for any toy, But just sweet things, as boys do, Cakes and comfits, cream and ice, All the things that boys think nice, That they like, but ought not to; Doctors say so, more or less, And their parents, too, I guess: But they don't know everything. — Boys know something, too, by jing. II Well, this little boy he cried Day and night for sweet things; ate Cake and candy soon and late — That is, if they did n't hide All such things in some good place Where he could n't find them. So, One day, when they did n't know, In the park he met a man, — Funniest man you ever saw, — In a suit of red and tan, Thin, and straighter than a straw, Like a stick of candy; and This old man just took his hand, Led him off to Candyland. III First place that they came to, why, Was a wood that reached the sky; Forest of Stick Candy. My! How the little boy made it fly! Why, the tree trunks were as great, Big around as, at our gate, Are the sycamores; the whole Stripéd like a barber's pole: And the ground was strewn and strown With the pieces winds had blown From the branches: and as fast As one fell another grew In its place; and, through and through, Each was better than the last. IV After this they came into A great grove of Sugar-Plums, And an orchard, such as few Ever saw, of Creams and Gums, Marshmallow and Chocolate, Where the boy just ate and ate Till he was brimful and felt As, I guess, a turkey feels On Thanksgiving; to its belt Stuffed with chestnuts. And the seals At the circus, that I saw, Looked just like that boy, I know, When he'd eaten bushels —pshaw! Loads of all that candy. Oh! He just lay down there and sighed When he couldn't eat no more, Though he'd eaten more than four Boys could eat, yes, twenty-four, And he just lay there and cried, Cried to eat more. And the man, The Stick-Candy Man, he said Never a word; just smiled instead Sweet as any candy can. V When they'd rested there awhile, That old man with his sweet smile Took him by the hand and said, "Don't you think it's time for bed?" But the boy he shook his head: "I want cakes and ice cream now; Then I'll go and not before." — Wish that I could show you how Sweet that old man smiled then! Sweet? — It was just like honeyed heat Trickling down from head to feet, Or just like a candy store Flung right at you. But the boy, At that smile, felt no great joy, But as if he'd eaten more Than he ought to. "I feel ill," Said he. "If I had a drink I'd feel better. — Say, I think I smell water. What's that hill? Is it snow?" — The old man smiled, Smiled that smile again, and, quick, — For it made him feel so sick, — From him turned the boy; and, — "Child," Like some melting sugar-stick, Drooled the old man, "I'll be bent, Or be eaten, it's not snow: But to me it's evident, If you really want to know, That hill's ice-cream. Feel the chill On my neck now….If you will We will go there." — And they went: Found a stranger country still, Filled with greater wonderment. VI The very ground was sugar there; And all around them, everywhere, Great cakes grew up like mushrooms; some No bigger than a baby's thumb, And others huge as hats they wear In picture books of pirate kings: And some were jelly-cakes; great rings Of reddest jelly; macaroons And sponge-cakes like enormous moons: And every kind of cake there is Just overrun the premises. And in the middle of the land A mountain, they had seen afar, Of Ice-Cream towered white and grand; Such mountains as there only are In Candyland. And from it fell Two fountains: one of Lemonade, The other Sodawater. — Well, The little boy just took a spade And dug into that mountainside And ate and ate, and cried and cried, Because he could n't eat it all, Nor all the cakes that grew around, Like mushrooms, from the sugary ground; Nor drink up every waterfall Of Soda and of Lemonade. — (I wish that I'd been there to aid! Don't you? I know I'd done my best. — And father said he knew, or guessed, That that old man felt sorry, too, Because the boy just had to rest. And I felt sorry. Would n't you?) VII And that big hill would never melt: Just stayed the same. No sooner than One took a spoonful it began To grow back in its place. One dealt It out in shovelfuls still There was no less in that huge hill. And fast — yes, faster than one knew, The mushroom-cakes around you grew; Wherever one was taken, why, Up came another, better by A long ways: and it were no use To try to drink the fountains dry: They ran the more; a perfect sluice, My father said, that played the deuce With any little boy that'd try. VIII So in that land a long, long time, At least a month, he stayed. Each day Was like the other. — (Sometime I'm A-going to Candyland and stay A year, or longer; yes, you bet! No matter what my parents say.) — What happened next? — why, I forget. But one day in the Orchard where Cream Candies grew —or was it in The Woods of Candystick? or there Where brown the Sugarlands begin Of Mushroom-cakes? — the old man found The boy flat, lying on the ground, The sugar-earth kicked up around, And cakes and cream knocked all about And broken into bits, and he Just crying fit to kill; all out, And sick of everything, you see. And when the old man smiled and smiled That smile again, the boy went wild, And shook his fist right in his face And shrieked out at him, "You Disgrace! Get out! You make me sick!" — A stone (You see rock-candy strewed the place Just like the stones that strew our own) He picked and aimed and would have thrown And knocked the old man's head right off, Had he not stopped him, with a cough, Saying, "My boy! why, this won't do! What ails you, eh?" — The boy said, "You! — Don't smile at me! — I'll break your head! You sugar-coated pill! with this! — I'm sick of sweets and you," he said, "Your face so like a candy-kiss? — What ails me? — Eggs! and bacon! bread! And milk and toast and chicken-wings, One never has here! things they fed Me on at home! those are the things! — Take me back home where I can eat The things I never wanted once — But now I want them! bread and meat! — Oh, was n't I an awful dunce! — Now, you old sinner, take me back! " — And with those words the old man's face Fell in a frown that seemed to crack It all to pieces. All grew black About the little boy a space; But when it lightened up once more Why, there! he was n't any place But right in front of their big door — His home. —I say! my! he was glad; And hurried in, a different lad From him who had gone out. — And he, From that time on, took toast and tea, And milk and eggs, and never teased, As once he used to tease, for cakes And candy and such things! — My sakes! But were n't both his parents pleased!
Madison Julius Cawein’s other poems:
- English Poetry. Madison Julius Cawein. Indifference. Мэдисон Джулиус Кавейн. - 21 сентября, 2022
- English Poetry. Madison Julius Cawein. In the Forest. Мэдисон Джулиус Кавейн. - 21 сентября, 2022
- English Poetry. Madison Julius Cawein. In June. Мэдисон Джулиус Кавейн. - 21 сентября, 2022