Archive for November 29th, 2013


This sleepy duo put me in mind of The Beautiful Land of Nod, an 1892 poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. I first read it in a magazine for new mothers when my first-born was an infant with goldenrod hair. It’s a sentimental favorite. Ella Wheeler Wilcox was born in Wisconsin in 1850 and died in 1919. Among her best-known lines are “Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone.” and “To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men.”


Come, cuddle your head on my shoulder, dear,
Your head like the golden rod,
And we will go sailing away from here
To the beautiful Land of Nod;
Away from life’s hurry, and flurry, and worry,
Away from earth’s shadows and gloom,
To a world of fair weather, we’ll float off together
Where roses are always in bloom.

Just shut up your eyes, and fold your hands,
Your hands like the leaves of a rose,
And we will go sailing to those fair lands
That never an atlas shows:
On the north and the west they are bounded by rest,
On the south and the east by dreams;
‘Tis the country ideal, where nothing is real,
But everything only seems.

Just drop down the curtains of your dear eyes,
Those eyes like a bright blue bell,
And we will sail out, under star-lit skies,
To the land where the fairies dwell.
Down the river of sleep, our barge shall sweep,
‘Till it reaches that mystical isle

Which no man has seen, but where all have been,
And there we will pause awhile.
I will croon you a song, as we float along,
To that shore that is blessed of God.
Then ho! for that fair land; we’re off for that rare land,
That beautiful land of Nod.

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