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Bedtime Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Bed-Time Song by Emilie Poulsson
  2. Behind Each Star by Annette Wynne
  3. Wynken, Blynken, and Nod (Dutch Lullaby) by Eugene Field
  4. Minnie and Winnie by Alfred Tennyson
  5. Golden Slumbers Kiss Your Eyes by Thomas Dekker
  6. Mother's Song by Anonymous
  7. A Cradle Hymn by Isaac Watts
  8. 'Tis Night by Mary M. Bowen
  9. Cradle Song by William Blake
  10. Sleep, Baby Mine by Anonymous
  11. Good-Night by Jane Taylor
  12. Lullaby by Alfred Tennyson
  13. The Cottager to Her Infant by Dorothy Wordsworth
  14. Holy Innocents by Christina Georgina Rossetti
  15. The Song of the Wind in the Cloud by Ellen Rolfe Veblen
  16. The Sugar-Plum Tree by Eugene Field
  17. Wee Willie Winkie by William Miller
  18. The Sandman by William Miller
  19. Bedtime by Francis Robert St. Clair Erskine
  20. Tucking the Baby In by Curtis May
  21. An Irish Lullaby by Alfred Perceval Graves
  22. "Lullaby, O Lullaby" by William Cox Bennett
  23. Lullaby by Josiah Gilbert Holland
  24. When the Sleepy Man Comes by Charles G. D. Roberts
  25. My Bed is a Boat by Robert Louis Stevenson

  1. Bed-Time Song

    by Emilie Poulsson

    Sleep, my baby, while I sing
    Bed-time news of everything.
    Chickens run to mother hen;
    Piggy curls up in the pen.
    In the field, all tired with play,
    Quiet now the lambkins stay.
    Kittens cuddle in a heap—
    Baby, too, must go to sleep!

    Sleep, my baby, while I sing
    Bed-time news of everything.
    Now the cows from pasture come;
    Bees fly home with drowsy hum.
    Little birds are in the nest,
    Under mother-bird's soft breast.
    Over all soft shadows creep—
    Baby now must go to sleep.

    Sleep, my baby, while I sing
    Bed-time news of everything.
    Sleepy flowers seem to nod,
    Drooping toward the dewy sod;
    While the big sun's fading light
    Bids my baby dear good-night.
    Mother loving watch will keep;
    Baby now must go to sleep.

  2. Behind Each Star

    by Annette Wynne

    Behind each star a small dream hides
    But will not show its head,
    Unless you're very, very good—
    And fast asleep in bed.

  3. Wynken, Blynken, and Nod (Dutch Lullaby)

    by Eugene Field

    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!"
    Said Wynken,
    Blynken,
    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,
    Wynken,
    Blynken,
    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:
    '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,
    Blynken,
    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:—
    Wynken,
    Blynken,
    And Nod.

  4. Minnie and Winnie

    by Alfred Tennyson

    Minnie and Winnie slept in a shell.
    Sleep, little ladies! And they slept well.

    Pink was the shell within, silver without;
    Sounds of the great sea wandered about.

    Sleep, little ladies! Wake not soon!
    Echo on echo dies to the moon.

    Two bright stars peeped into the shell.
    "What are they dreaming of? Who can tell?"

    Started a green linnet out of the croft;
    Wake, little ladies! The sun is aloft.

  5. Golden Slumbers Kiss Your Eyes

    by Thomas Dekker

    Golden slumbers kiss your eyes,
    Smiles awake you when you rise.
    Sleep, pretty wantons, do not cry,
    And I will sing a lullaby.
    Rock them, rock them, lullaby.

    Care is heavy, therefore sleep you,
    You are care, and care must keep you.
    Sleep, pretty wantons, do not cry,
    And I will sing a lullaby.
    Rock them, rock them, lullaby.

  6. Mother's Song

    by Unknown

    My heart is like a fountain true
    That flows and flows with love to you.
    As chirps the lark unto the tree
    So chirps my pretty babe to me.
    And it's O! sweet, sweet! and a lullaby.

    There's not a rose where'er I seek,
    As comely as my baby's cheek.
    There's not a comb of honey-bee,
    So full of sweets as babe to me.
    And it's O! sweet, sweet! and a lullaby.

    There's not a star that shines on high,
    Is brighter than my baby's eye.
    There's not a boat upon the sea,
    Can dance as baby does to me.
    And it's O! sweet, sweet! and a lullaby.

    No silk was ever spun so fine
    As is the hair of baby mine.
    My baby smells more sweet to me
    Than smells in spring the elder tree.
    And it's O! sweet, sweet! and a lullaby.

    A little fish swims in the well,
    So in my heart does baby dwell.
    A little flower blows on the tree,
    My baby is the flower to me.
    And it's O! sweet, sweet! and a lullaby.

    The Queen has sceptre, crown and ball,
    You are my sceptre, crown and all.
    For all her robes of royal silk,
    More fair your skin, as white as milk.
    And it's O! sweet, sweet! and a lullaby.

    Ten thousand parks where deer do run,
    Ten thousand roses in the sun,
    Ten thousand pearls beneath the sea,
    My babe more precious is to me.
    And it's O! sweet, sweet! and a lullaby.

  7. A Cradle Hymn

    by Isaac Watts

    Hush! my dear, lie still and slumber,
    Holy angels guard thy bed!
    Heavenly blessings without number
    Gently falling on thy head.

    Sleep, my babe; thy food and raiment,
    House and home, thy friends provide;
    All without thy care or payment:
    All thy wants are well supplied.

    How much better thou'rt attended
    Than the Son of God could be,
    When from heaven He descended
    And became a child like thee!

    Soft and easy is thy cradle:
    Coarse and hard thy Saviour lay,
    When His birthplace was a stable
    And His softest bed was hay.

    Blessed babe! what glorious features—
    Spotless fair, divinely bright!
    Must He dwell with brutal creatures?
    How could angels bear the sight?

    Was there nothing but a manger
    Cursed sinners could afford
    To receive the heavenly stranger?
    Did they thus affront their Lord?

    Soft, my child: I did not chide thee,
    Though my song might sound too hard;
    'Tis thy mother sits beside thee,
    And her arms shall be thy guard.

    Yet to read the shameful story
    How the Jews abused their King,
    How they served the Lord of Glory,
    Makes me angry while I sing.

    See the kinder shepherds round Him,
    Telling wonders from the sky!
    Where they sought Him, there they found Him,
    With His Virgin mother by.

    See the lovely babe a-dressing;
    Lovely infant, how He smiled!
    When He wept, the mother's blessing
    Soothed and hushed the holy child.

    Lo, He slumbers in His manger,
    Where the horned oxen fed;
    Peace, my darling; here's no danger,
    Here's no ox anear thy bed.

    'Twas to save thee, child, from dying,
    Save my dear from burning flame,
    Bitter groans and endless crying,
    That thy blest Redeemer came.

    May'st thou live to know and fear Him,
    Trust and love Him all thy days;
    Then go dwell forever near Him,
    See His face, and sing His praise!

  8. Cradle Song

    by William Blake

    Sleep, sleep, beauty bright,
    Dreaming in the joys of night;
    Sleep, sleep; in thy sleep
    Little sorrows sit and weep.

    Sweet babe, in thy face
    Soft desires I can trace,
    Secret joys and secret smiles,
    Little pretty infant wiles.

    As thy softest limbs I feel
    Smiles as of the morning steal
    O'er thy cheek, and o'er thy breast
    Where thy little heart doth rest.

    O the cunning wiles that creep
    In thy little heart asleep!
    When thy little heart doth wake,
    Then the dreadful night shall break.

  9. Sleep, Baby Mine

    by Anonymous

    Sleep, little baby of mine,
    Night and the darkness are near;
    But Jesus looks down
    Through the shadows that frown,
    And baby has nothing to fear.

    Shut, little sleepy blue eyes,
    Dear little head be at rest;
    Jesus, like you,
    Was a baby once, too,
    And slept on His own mother’s breast.

    Sleep, little baby of mine,
    Soft on your pillow so white;
    Jesus is here
    To watch over you, dear,
    And nothing can harm you to-night.

    O! little darling of mine,
    What can you know of the bliss,
    The comfort I keep,
    Awake and asleep,
    Because I am certain of this?

  10. Good-Night

    by Jane Taylor

    Little baby, lay your head
    On your pretty cradle-bed;
    Shut your eye-peeps, now the day
    And the light are gone away;
    All the clothes are tucked in tight;
    Little baby dear, good-night.

    Yes, my darling, well I know
    How the bitter wind doth blow;
    And the winter's snow and rain
    Patter on the window-pane:
    But they cannot come in here,
    To my little baby dear;

    For the window shutteth fast,
    Till the stormy night is past;
    And the curtains warm are spread
    Round about her cradle bed:
    So till morning shineth bright,
    Little baby dear, good-night.

  11. Lullaby

    by Alfred Tennyson

    Sweet and low, sweet and low,
    Wind of the western sea,
    Low, low, breathe and blow,
    Wind of the western sea!
    Over the rolling waters go,
    Come from the dying moon, and blow,
    Blow him again to me;
    While my little one, while my pretty one, sleeps.

    Sleep and rest, sleep and rest,
    Father will come to thee soon;
    Rest, rest, on mother's breast,
    Father will come to thee soon;
    Father will come to his babe in the nest,
    Silver sails all out of the west
    Under the silver moon:
    Sleep, my little one, sleep, my pretty one, sleep.

  12. The Cottager to Her Infant

    by Dorothy Wordsworth

    The days are cold, the nights are long,
    The north-wind sings a doleful song;
    Then hush again upon my breast;
    All merry things are now at rest,
    Save thee, my pretty love!

    The kitten sleeps upon the hearth;
    The crickets long have ceased their mirth;
    There's nothing stirring in the house
    Save one wee, hungry, nibbling mouse;
    Then why so busy thou?

    Nay! start not at that sparkling light;
    'Tis but the moon that shines so bright
    On the window-pane bedropped with rain:
    There, little darling! sleep again,
    And wake when it is day!

  13. Holy Innocents

    by Christina Georgina Rossetti

    Sleep, little Baby, sleep;
    The holy Angels love thee,
    And guard thy bed, and keep
    A blessed watch above thee.
    No spirit can come near
    Nor evil beast to harm thee:
    Sleep, Sweet, devoid of fear
    Where nothing need alarm thee.

    The Love which doth not sleep,
    The eternal Arms surround thee:
    The Shepherd of the sheep
    In perfect love hath found thee.
    Sleep through the holy night,
    Christ-kept from snare and sorrow,
    Until thou wake to light
    And love and warmth to-morrow.

  14. The Song of the Wind in the Cloud

    by Ellen Rolfe Veblen

    Rock, rock, my hollow boat!
    Sleepy, sighing, swinging boat!
    Woven from the spray of ocean,
    Swan or seamaid taught thee motion!
    Wistfully earth's children muse
    On thy blithe and wayward cruise,
    All too far remote!

    Float, float, my cradle cloud!
    Moonlit goes my pearly cloud;
    Tossing in the silvery spaces,
    Drifting in the dusky places,
    Smiling earth-children see
    How the night enchanteth thee
    For thy voyage proud.

    Sail, sail, my chiming shell!
    Murmuring flies my curving shell,
    Followed by the laughing star eyes —
    Haste! my cavern home afar lies!
    Dreamily earth-children trace
    'Mong the stars thine airy pace,
    Shiver by thy spell.

  15. The Sugar-Plum Tree

    by Eugene Field

    Have you ever heard of the Sugar-Plum Tree?
    'Tis a marvel of great renown!
    It blooms on the shore of the Lollypop sea
    In the garden of Shut-Eye Town;
    The fruit that it bears is so wondrously sweet
    (As those who have tasted it say)
    That good little children have only to eat
    Of that fruit to be happy next day.

    When you've got to the tree, you would have a hard time
    To capture the fruit which I sing;
    The tree is so tall that no person could climb
    To the boughs where the sugar-plums swing!
    But up in that tree sits a chocolate cat,
    And a gingerbread dog prowls below—
    And this is the way you contrive to get at
    Those sugar-plums tempting you so:

    You say but the word to that gingerbread dog
    And he barks with such terrible zest
    That the chocolate cat is at once all agog,
    As her swelling proportions attest.
    And the chocolate cat goes cavorting around
    From this leafy limb unto that,
    And the sugar-plums tumble, of course, to the ground—
    Hurrah for that chocolate cat!

    There are marshmallows, gumdrops, and peppermint canes,
    With stripings of scarlet or gold,
    And you carry away of the treasure that rains,
    As much as your apron can hold!
    So come, little child, cuddle closer to me
    In your dainty white nightcap and gown,
    And I'll rock you away to that Sugar-Plum Tree
    In the garden of Shut-Eye Town.

  16. Wee Willie Winkie

    by William Miller

    Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,
    Up stairs and down stairs in his night-gown,
    Tapping at the window, crying at the lock,
    Are the children in their bed, for it's past ten o'clock?

    Hey, Willie Winkie, are you coming in?
    The cat is singing purring sounds to the sleeping hen,
    The dog's spread out on the floor, and doesn't give a cheep,
    But here's a wakeful little boy who will not fall asleep!

    Anything but sleep, you rogue! glowering like the moon,
    Rattling in an iron jug with an iron spoon,
    Rumbling, tumbling round about, crowing like a cock,
    Shrieking like I don't know what, waking sleeping folk.

    Hey, Willie Winkie — the child's in a creel!
    Wriggling from everyone's knee like an eel,
    Tugging at the cat's ear, and confusing all her thrums
    Hey, Willie Winkie — see, there he comes!"

    Weary is the mother who has a dusty child,
    A small short little child, who can't run on his own,
    Who always has a battle with sleep before he'll close an eye
    But a kiss from his rosy lips gives strength anew to me.

  17. The Sandman

    by William Miller

    The rosy clouds float overhead,
    The sun is going down;
    And now the sandman's gentle tread
    Comes stealing through the town.
    "White sand, white sand," he softly cries,
    And as he shakes his hand,
    Straightway there lies on babies' eyes
    His gift of shining sand.
    Blue eyes, gray eyes, black eyes, and brown,
    As shuts the rose, they softly close, when he goes through the town.

    From sunny beaches far away—
    Yes, in another land—
    He gathers up at break of day
    His stone of shining sand.
    No tempests beat that shore remote,
    No ships may sail that way;
    His little boat alone may float
    Within that lovely bay.
    Blue eyes, gray eyes, black eyes, and brown,
    As shuts the rose, they softly close, when he goes through the town.

    He smiles to see the eyelids close
    Above the happy eyes;
    And every child right well he knows,—
    Oh, he is very wise!
    But if, as he goes through the land,
    A naughty baby cries,
    His other hand takes dull gray sand
    To close the wakeful eyes.
    Blue eyes, gray eyes, black eyes, and brown,
    As shuts the rose, they softly close, when he goes through the town.

    So when you hear the sandman's song
    Sound through the twilight sweet,
    Be sure you do not keep him long
    A-waiting in the street.
    Lie softly down, dear little head,
    Rest quiet, busy hands,
    Till, by your bed his good-night said,
    He strews the shining sands.
    Blue eyes, gray eyes, black eyes, and brown,
    As shuts the rose, they softly close, when he goes through the town.

  18. Bedtime

    by Francis Robert St. Clair Erskine

    'Tis bedtime; say your hymn, and bid "Good-night;
    God bless Mamma, Papa, and dear ones all."
    Your half-shut eyes beneath your eyelids fall,
    Another minute, you will shut them quite.
    Yes, I will carry you, put out the light,
    And tuck you up, although you are so tall!
    What will you give me, sleepy one, and call
    My wages, if I settle you all right?

    I laid her golden curls upon my arm,
    I drew her little feet within my hand,
    Her rosy palms were joined in trustful bliss,
    Her heart next mine beat gently, soft and warm
    She nestled to me, and, by Love's command,
    Paid me my precious wages—"Baby's Kiss."

  19. Tucking the Baby In

    by Curtis May

    The dark-fringed eyelids slowly close
    On eyes serene and deep;
    Upon my breast my own sweet child
    Has gently dropped to sleep;
    I kiss his soft and dimpled cheek,
    I kiss his rounded chin,
    Then lay him on his little bed,
    And tuck my baby in.

    How fair and innocent he lies;
    Like some small angel strayed,
    His face still warmed by God's own smile,
    That slumbers unafraid;
    Or like some new embodied soul,
    Still pure from taint of sin—
    My thoughts are reverent as I stoop
    To tuck my baby in.

    What toil must stain these tiny hands
    That now lie still and white?
    What shadows creep across the face
    That shines with morning light?
    These wee pink shoeless feet—how far
    Shall go their lengthening tread,
    When they no longer cuddled close
    May rest upon this bed?

    O what am I that I should train
    An angel for the skies;
    Or mix the potent draught that feeds
    The soul within these eyes?
    I reach him up to the sinless Hands
    Before his cares begin,—
    Great Father, with Thy folds of love,
    O tuck my baby in.

  20. An Irish Lullaby

    by Alfred Perceval Graves

    I've found my bonny babe a nest
    On Slumber Tree,
    I'll rock you there to rosy rest,
    Asthore Machree!
    Oh, lulla lo! sing all the leaves
    On Slumber Tree,
    Till everything that hurts or grieves
    Afar must flee.

    I've put my pretty child to float
    Away from me,
    Within the new moon's silver boat
    On Slumber Sea.
    And when your starry sail is o'er
    From Slumber Sea,
    My precious one, you'll step to shore
    On Mother's knee.

  21. "Lullaby, O Lullaby"

    by William Cox Bennett

    Lullaby! O lullaby!
    Baby, hush that little cry!
    Light is dying,
    Bats are flying,
    Bees to-day with work have done;
    So, till comes the morrow's sun,
    Let sleep kiss those bright eyes dry!
    Lullaby! O lullaby.

    Lullaby! O lullaby!
    Hushed are all things far and nigh;
    Flowers are closing,
    Birds reposing,
    All sweet things with life are done.
    Sweet, till dawns the morning sun,
    Sleep, then kiss those blue eyes dry.
    Lullaby! O lullaby!

  22. Lullaby

    by Josiah Gilbert Holland

    Rockaby, lullaby, bees in the clover!
    Crooning so drowsily, crying so low,
    Rockaby, lullaby, dear little rover!
    Down into wonderland,
    Down to the under-land
    Go, oh go!
    Down into wonderland go!

    Rockaby, lullaby, rain on the clover!
    (Tears on the eyelids that waver and weep!)
    Rockaby, lullaby—bending it over!
    Down on the mother-world,
    Down on the other world,
    Sleep, oh sleep!
    Down on the mother-world sleep!

    Rockaby, lullaby, dew on the clover!
    Dew on the eyes that will sparkle at dawn!
    Rockaby, lullaby, dear little rover!
    Into the stilly world,
    Into the lily world,
    Gone! oh gone!
    Into the lily world gone!

  23. When the Sleepy Man Comes

    by Charles G. D. Roberts

    When the Sleepy Man comes with the dust on his eyes,
    (Oh, weary, my Dearie, so weary!)
    He shuts up the earth, and he opens the skies.
    (So hush-a-by, weary my Dearie!)

    He smiles through his fingers, and shuts up the sun;
    (Oh, weary, my Dearie, so weary!)
    The stars that he loves he lets out one by one.
    (So hush-a-by, weary my Dearie!)

    He comes from the castles of Drowsy-boy Town;
    (Oh, weary, my Dearie, so weary!)
    At the touch of his hand the tired eyelids fall down.
    (So hush-a-by, weary my Dearie!)

    He comes with a murmur of dream in his wings;
    (Oh, weary, my Dearie, so weary!)
    And whispers of mermaids and wonderful things.
    (So hush-a-by, weary my Dearie!)

    Then the top is a burden, the bugle a bane;
    (Oh, weary, my Dearie, so weary!)
    When one would be faring down Dream-a-way Lane.
    (So hush-a-by, weary my Dearie!)

    When one would be wending in Lullaby Wherry,
    (Oh, weary, my Dearie, so weary!)
    To Sleepy Man's Castle, by Comforting Ferry.
    (So hush-a-by, weary my Dearie!)