Lightly they hold him and lightly they sway him--
    Soft as a pillow are somebody's arms.
      Down he goes slowly, ever so lowly
    Over the rim of the cradle they lay him--
       Baby's first journey is free from alarms.

Baby is growing while Mama sings by-lo,
    Sturdy and rosy and laughing and fair,
       Crowing and growing past every one's knowing,
    Out goes the cradle and in comes the "high-lo,"
       Baby's next journey is into this chair.

Crying or cooing or waking or sleeping,
    Baby is ever a thing to adore.
       Look at him yonder--oh what a wonder,
    Who would believe it, the darling is creeping,
       Baby's next journey is over the floor.

Sweeter and cuter and brighter and stronger,
    Mama can see every day how he's grown.
       Shoes are all battered, stockings all tattered,
Oh! but the baby is baby no longer
    Look at the fellow--he's walking alone!

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

Back to Poem Index