BABYLAND

Have you heard of the Valley of Babyland,
   The realm where the dear little darlings stay,
Till the kind storks go, as all men know,
   And, oh, so tenderly bring them away?
The paths are winding and past all finding,
   By all save the storks who understand
The gates and the highways and the intricate byways
                                                That lead to Babyland.

All over the Valley of Babyland
   Sweet flowers bloom in the soft green moss;
And under the ferns fair, and under the plants there,
   Lie little heads like spools of floss.
With a soothing number the river of slumber
   Flows o'er a bedway of silver sand;
And angels are keeping watch o'er the sleeping
                                                Babes of Babyland.

The path to the Valley of Babyland
   Only the kingly, kind storks know;
If they fly over mountains, or wade through fountains,
   No man sees them come or go.
But an angel maybe, who guards some baby,
   Or a fairy perhaps, with her magic wand,
Brings them straightway to the wonderful gateway
                                                That leads to Babyland.

And there in the Valley of Babyland,
   Under the mosses and leaves and ferns,
Like an unfledged starling, they find the darling
   For whom the heart of a mother yearns;
And they lift him lightly, and snug him tightly
   In feathers soft as a lady's hand;
And off with a rockaway step they walk away
                                                  Out of Babyland.

As they go from the Valley of Babyland,
   Forth into the world of great unrest,
Sometimes in weeping, he wakes from sleeping
   Before he reaches the mother's breast.
Ah, how she blesses him, how she caresses him,
   Bonniest bird in the bright home band
That o'er land and water, the kind stork brought her
                                       From far-off Babyland!

The Beautiful Land of Nod by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago: Morrill, Higgins & Co. [1892]


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