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Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

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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 of 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;
'T was all so pretty a sail it seemed
   As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 't was 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.

Source: The Golden Book of Poetry (1947)
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Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

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  • Eugene Field was a popular humorist and newspaperman often called the "Poet of Childhood." Born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Roswell M. and Frances Reed Field, both of New England ancestry, Field claimed two birthdates—2 and 3 September 1850—in later years so that if friends forgot him on the first day, they could remember him on the second. His father was an attorney and attained some fame after successfully defending Dred Scott, fugitive slave, in Scott's first trial. Field's mother died when he was six, and he and his younger brother Roswell were sent to Amherst, Massachusetts, to be cared for by their paternal cousin Mary Field French until their maturity.

    Field began college at Williams in 1868, after barely passing the entrance exams; he left New England the following spring because of the serious illness and subsequent death of his father in St. Louis. In the fall of 1869...

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