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 that 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;
'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:
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:
Eugene Field, also known as the Children's Poet, was born on September 2, 1850, at 634 S. Broadway in St. Louis, MO. He had a younger brother, Roswell, and a sister who died in infancy. When the boys were 6 and 5, their mother died. The boys were raised in Amherst, MA. by a cousin, Mary Field French. Emily Dickinson, later to become Amherst's most famous citizen, was about 26 years at the time.
Field's father, attorney Roswell Martin Field, became famous for his representation of the slave, Dred Scott. Field filed the complaint, suing for Dred Scott's freedom in federal court in St. Louis, MO. It is often call the lawsuit that started the Civil War.