Wynken, Blynken, and Nod
This Wynken, Blynken and Nod bronze statue sits in the center of the village green. It commemorates “The Dutch Lullaby” that was penned by Eugene Field in 1889. The statue was erected in 1938 to honor Elizabeth Cameron Bailey by her husband Fred Bailey. Fred and Elizabeth Bailey were natives of Wellsboro.
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;
‘Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks 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 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:
I guess bedtime stories are things of the past, but even at my age, it is fun to remember when someone special read to me. This poem by Eugene Field was a childhood favorite because my Aunt Elizabeth read it to me as I snuggled into an old fashion feather bed.
Eugene Field, orphaned at age 6, was forced to move from his native St. Louis to his cousin’s home in Massachusetts. Best known for his essays and children’s poems, he was the son of Roswell Martin Field, the Missouri lawyer who represented Dred Scott in his landmark case against slavery in America.
Field died in Chicago at age 46, while working for a newspaper, but his most famous work is a collection of children’s poems that Maxfield Parrish illustrated with a picture entitled Dinky Park.