By A. A. Milne 1882–1956
Lords of the Nursery
   Wait in a row,
Five on the high wall,
   And four on the low;
Big Kings and Little Kings,
   Brown Bears and Black,
All of them waiting
   Till John comes back.
Some think that John boy
   Is lost in the wood,
Some say he couldn’t be,
   Some say he could.
Some think that John boy
   Hides on the hill;
Some say he won’t come back,
   Some say he will.
                          High was the sun, when
                             John went away . . .
                          Here they’ve been waiting
                             All through the day;
                          Big Bears and Little Bears,
                             White Kings and Black,
                          All of them waiting
                             Till John comes back.
Lords of the Nursery
   Looked down the hill,
Some saw the sheep-fold,
   Some say the mill;
Some saw the roofs
   Of the little grey town . . .
And their shadows grew long
   As the sun slipt down.
Gold between the poplars
   An old moon shows;
Silver up the star-way
   The full moon rose;
Silver down the star-way
   The old moon crept . . .
And, one by another,
   The grey fields slept.
Lords of the Nursery
   Their still watch keep . . .
They hear from the sheep-fold
   The rustle of sheep.
A young bird twitters
   And hides its head;
A little wind suddenly
   Breathes, and is dead.
Slowly and slowly
   Dawns the new day . . .
What’s become of John boy?
   No one can say.
Some think that John boy
   Is lost on the hill;
Some say he won’t come back,
   Some say he will.
What's become of John boy?
   Nothing at all,
He played with his skipping rope,
   He played with his ball.
He ran after butterflies,
   Blue ones and red;
He did a hundred happy things—
   And then went to bed.

A. A. Milne, “Forgotten” from The Complete Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh. Copyright © The Trustees of the Pooh Properties reproduced with permission of Curtis Brown Limited, London.

Source: The Complete Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh (Dutton, 1998)

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Poet A. A. Milne 1882–1956


Subjects Activities, Sports & Outdoor Activities

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Poet, writer, playwright, and journalist Alan Alexander Milne was born in London. His father was the headmaster at Henley House School, and Milne studied there under H.G. Wells. He earned a BA in mathematics at Cambridge University before moving to London, where he worked as the assistant editor of the humor magazine Punch for eight years (1906–1914). Milne served as an officer in the British army in World War I, after which he . . .

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SUBJECT Activities, Sports & Outdoor Activities


Poetic Terms Refrain, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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