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Japanese Lullaby
Eugene Field

Sleep, little pigeon, and fold your wings,
Little blue pigeon with velvet eyes;
Sleep to the singing of mother-bird swinging
Swinging the nest where her little one lies.

Away out yonder I see a star,
Silvery star with a tinkling song;
To the soft dew falling I hear it calling
Calling and tinkling the night along.

In through the window a moonbeam comes,
Little gold moonbeam with misty wings;
All silently creeping, it asks, "Is he sleeping
Sleeping and dreaming while mother sings?"

Up from the sea there floats the sob
Of the waves that are breaking upon the shore,
As though they were groaning in anguish, and moaning
Bemoaning the ship that shall come no more.

But sleep, little pigeon, and fold your wings,
Little blue pigeon with mournful eyes;
Am I not singing?see, I am swinging
Swinging the nest where my darling lies.

This poem is in the public domain.


Eugene Field (1850 –1895) was born in St. Louis, Missouri, raised in Amherst, Massachusetts, and spent most of his adult life in Chicago. Best known for his children’s poetry and humorous essays, he explored acting and law before turning to a very successful career in journalism. Eugene lost both parents before he was 20, buried three of his eight children, and died himself when he was only 45. He nonetheless seemed to have a happy and satisfying life, publishing more than a dozen books and forever endearing himself to the world’s children by penning such classic poems as “The Duel” and “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.” Eugene’s home in St. Louis is preserved and open to the public.


Post New Comment:
I loved this one. So gentle and soothing, just what a child needs in a lullaby. Very nice!
Posted 02/27/2014 09:19 AM
Wilda Morris:
I don't remember ever hearing or seeing this poem, though I grew up with the poetry of Eugen Field. It is lovely! I hope someone set it to music.
Posted 02/27/2014 08:45 AM
I'm a sucker for poems like this---and really glad to see this one make a "reappearance" today!
Posted 02/27/2014 05:47 AM

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