Icon by Marli du Plessis and Parkjisun (The Noun Project)
Wynken, Blynken and Nod
Have fun with the poem by trying this...
This poem is about a scene a mother imagines with her child as she sings them to sleep in their bed. Read out the poem in a way you think would help a small child go to sleep.
Choose 5 of your favourite lines in the poem - maybe images you like the best or lines you most like the sound of. Whisper these lines on their own a few times and really enjoy the feel of the words.
As well as the poet's voice, this poem includes the moon, the stars and Wynken, Blyken and Nod speaking. It can be tempting to make the voices dramatically different, but this is a lullaby so don't go too far or you'll change the mood and keep young children awake!
If you have young children in your family, try reading or reciting this poem to them at bedtime. Or recite it to yourself to help you sleep!
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!’
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 afeard are we';
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
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:
Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is the 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: