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F – Eugene Field (1850-1895)

“Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
     Sailed off in a wooden shoe – 
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
     Into a sea of dew.”

Eugene Field was an American writer best known for his children’s poetry and humorous essays.  He was known as “The Poet of Childhood”.

This is a brief excerpt from a lovely little old-fashioned poem.   It takes me back to the days of my childhood when many of us still read Mother Goose stories.  I was taught songs and verse by my Gram, and we sang all the time.  As kids on the playground, when we jumped rope or played hopscotch, we would recite rhymes.  Even when we picked who would go first at something, we had all sorts of sayings for the choosing:  Eenie, meenie, miney, mo . . .

Today’s post is a nostalgic salute to old-fashioned childhoods.  May it warm your heart and bring a smile to your face.

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 the beautiful sea.
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish,—
   Never afraid 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 folk 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.

If you had an old-fashioned childhood, or if you didn’t; if you believe in simplicity and starlight, the moon and wooden shoes, let’s be friends~

For a lovely reading of part of the poem by the wonderful Joan Plowright, follow this link.  

1 thought on “F – Eugene Field (1850-1895)”

  1. Thank you Taya!!! You had a wonderful grandmother you loved you so very much.

    Nursery rhymes and poetry are a wonderful way to introduce children to the lyrical beauty of language. I don’t know if parents still read nursery rhymes to their children. I hope so. I plan to read them to all my great-grand babies. 🥰

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