Wynken, Blynken, and Nod (Dutch Lullaby)

 Painting by Maxfield Parrish

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod (Dutch Lullaby)

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,
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.

–by Eugene Field (1850-1895)

Eugene Field, Sr. was an American writer best known for his children’s poetry and humorous essays.  Much of his employment included stints writing for various city newspapers; he first started publishing poetry in 1879 when his book Christian Treasures appeared.  Over a dozen more volumes followed and Field’s reputation for creating light-hearted poems for children grew.  “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod” is perhaps the most well-known.

Several of Field’s poems have been set to music with commercial success.  Additionally many of his works have been illustrated by a range of various artists including a favorite of mine, American painter and illustrator, Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966).  Eugene Field has his own star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame and numerous elementary schools throughout the Midwest are named for him.

This poem “Wynken, Blynken and Nod” has also inspired two statues created in its honor.  One of these is in Denver, CO and the other in the town of Wellsboro, PA.  Information about the statues and who created them and why can be found on the following webpage:


3 thoughts on “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod (Dutch Lullaby)

  1. S.lewis says:

    Wink on, blykon, and nod, I have required an original picture of maxwell harris, trying to find out it’s value, yu might be the wrong person to ask?????

    • An original painting of Maxfield Parrish is probably worth a lot. There are books in the public libraries on antiques (these are published annually and can be found often in a library’s Reference section or in the Arts section) that sometimes include paintings.
      The other idea is to google “Maxfield Parrish” online and/or search how much a recent original painting of his has sold for.
      What I do know about Maxfield Parrish is that his paintings were made into prints and I read some time ago that these prints were more or less mass produced during the 1920s/1930s. I, myself, have a picture of his that was in my Grandparents’ house from around that era (they died in 1977 and 1979 and the print was still in their home at that time and was given to me in 1979). I wondered also at that time if the print (it is somewhat small and framed) was worth anything. In the early 1980s I found an article that discussed the mass production of some of Maxfield Parrish’s works into print copies in the 1920s or thereabouts and these prints of his were commonly found in most American households. The value of these prints wasn’t much as a result.
      Now, however, it’s now 2015 and perhaps they are worth a bit more, it’s hard to say. Unfortunately, for me, the colors in the print that I have are now somewhat faded.
      Maxfield Parrish’s work evidently appeared fairly often in magazines also during the 1920s and 30s. One magazine in particular known as “Colliers” I’ve seen his paintings on the cover of that (it was in a public library who still had the bound volumes of old magazines and I tracked it down).
      I don’t know if this is helpful information to you. I’m realizing that perhaps because he was fairly popular, maybe Maxfield Parrish’s paintings won’t be listed in any antique resources. However I believe that an original painting of his and not just a print, is possibly worth something. As I said I would “google” his name and “original painting” and see if you can find anything that way. It is possible to find collectors of his original work perhaps, I’m not sure.

  2. S.lewis says:

    Ty for responding did I enter a picture

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