Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wynken Blynken and Nod by Eugene Field

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
   Sailed off in a wooden shoe---
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
   Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
   The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
   That live in this beautiful sea;

Nets of silver and gold have we!"
                     Said Wynken,
                     And Nod. 

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
   As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
   Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
   That lived in that beautiful sea---
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish---
   Never afeard are we;"

So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
                     And Nod. 

All night long their nets they threw
   To the stars in the twinkling foam---
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
   Bringing the fishermen home;
'Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed
   As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 'twas a dream they 'd dreamed
   Of sailing that beautiful sea---
   But I shall name you the fishermen three:
                     And Nod. 

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
   And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
   Is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
   Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
   As you rock in the misty sea,

Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
                     And Nod.

I was cleaning out the house and going through the bookcase  when I found a beautifully illustrated book of a poem I have loved since my childhood.  So of course I rushed to the net to see if there was much variation.  Apparently not.  Nobody seems to be able to better the original, and I would have to agree, it is truly beautiful.  The edition above was published when my daughter was born.  So of course, just like her - it's extra special :)

The poem has such a lovely rhythm and tone and contains truly beautiful fantastic elements that it's hard to believe it was written over a century ago.   Originally published under the title "Dutch Lullaby" - presumably because of the shoe.  

A.J. Ponder

A.J. Ponder's work is available through Rona Gallery, Amazon, and good Wellington bookstores


  1. Alicia, I love this poem--and brought the very edition you feature for my first nephew, who liked it well enough; but my brother tells me that it was the favourite of my second nephew for a very long time.

  2. I'm pleased to hear that you have been indoctrinating the next generation. ;)

  3. It's so nice to read this poem out loud (softly!) with the lilting rhythm and indulge in a bit of nostalgia. Love the edition, too! Gives me ideas for Christmas presents...