Eugene Field Sr. (1850-1895) was born on September 2, 1850, in St. Louis, Missouri; American writer, best known for his poems for children and humorous essays. In 1875, he started his career as a reporter for the St. Joseph Gazette, and rose to be the newspaper’s city editor. The Gazette was the first paper to print his humorous articles. He moved on to work for the Morning Journal in St. Louis, the Kansas City Times, and the Denver Tribune. He started publishing poems in 1879, eventually producing over a dozen volumes of poetry, mainly for children. In 1883, he began writing a column called Sharps and Flats for the Chicago Daily News. He died of a heart attack at the age of 45.
To read one of Eugene Field’s best-known children’s poems click:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod
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,”
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 afraid 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 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:—
This poem is in the public domain.