5 Goodnight poems for your sleepy kids

2 min read

One of the best times to read poetry to children is before bedtime

The chosen rhymes will help them to sleep dreaming about wonderful worlds and things. Discover this compilation of five bedtime poetry!

In a garden by Algernon Charles Swinburne

Baby, see the flowers!
—Baby sees
Fairer things than these,
Fairer though they be than dreams of ours.

Baby, hear the birds!
—Baby knows
Better songs than those,
Sweeter though they sound than sweetest words.

Baby, see the moon!
—Baby’s eyes
Laugh to watch it rise,
Answering light with love and night with noon.

Baby, hear the sea!
—Baby’s face
Takes a graver grace,
Touched with wonder what the sound may be.

Baby, see the star!
—Baby’s hand
Opens, warm and bland,
Calm in claim of all things fair that are.

Baby, hear the bells!
—Baby’s head Bows,
as ripe for bed,
Now the flowers curl round and close their cells.

Baby, flower of light,
Sleep, and see
Brighter dreams than we,
Till good day shall smile away good night.

Wee Willie Winkie by William Miller

Wee Willie Winkie rins through the town,

Upstairs and doon stairs, in his nicht-gown,
Tirlin’ at the window, cryin’ at the lock,
“Are the weans in their bed? – for it’s noo ten o’clock.”

Hey, Willie Winkie! are ye comin’ ben?
The cat’s singin’ gay thrums to the sleepin’ hen,
The doug’s speldered on the floor, and disna gie a cheep;
But here’s a waukrife laddie, that winna fa’ asleep.

Onything but sleep, ye rogue! – glowrin’ like the moon,
Rattlin’ in an airn jug wi’ an airn spoon,
Rumblin’, tumblin’ roun’ about, crawin’ like a cock,
Skirlin’ like a kenna-what – wauknin’ sleepin’ folk!

Hey, Willie Winkie! the wean’s in a creel!
Waumblin’ aff a bodie’s knee like a vera eel,
Ruggin’ at the cat’s lug, and ravellin’ a’ her thrums:
Hey, Willie Winkie! – See, there he comes!

The Sugar-Plum Tree by Eugene Field

Have you ever heard of the Sugar-Plum Tree?
‘Tis a marvel of great renown!
It blooms on the shore of the Lollypop sea
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town;
The fruit that it bears is so wondrously sweet
(As those who have tasted it say)
That good little children have only to eat
Of that fruit to be happy next day.

When you’ve got to the tree, you would have a hard time
To capture the fruit which I sing;
The tree is so tall that no person could climb
To the boughs where the sugar-plums swing!
But up in that tree sits a chocolate cat,
And a gingerbread dog prowls below –
And this is the way you contrive to get at
Those sugar-plums tempting you so:

You say but the word to that gingerbread dog
And he barks with such terrible zest
That the chocolate cat is at once all agog,
As her swelling proportions attest.
And the chocolate cat goes cavorting around
From this leafy limb unto that,
And the sugar-plums tumble, of course, to the ground –
Hurrah for that chocolate cat!

There are marshmallows, gumdrops, and peppermint canes,
With stripings of scarlet or gold,
And you carry away of the treasure that rains,
As much as your apron can hold!
So come, little child, cuddle closer to me
In your dainty white nightcap and gown,
And I’ll rock you away to that Sugar-Plum Tree
In the garden of Shut-Eye Town.

Bed in Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson

In Winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle light.
In Summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people’s feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

Good night by Jane and Ann Taylor

Little baby, lay your head
On your pretty cradle-bed;
Shut your eye-peeps, now the day
And the light are gone away;
All the clothes are tucked in tight;
Little baby dear, good night.

Yes, my darling, well I know
How the bitter wind doth blow;
And the winter’s snow and rain
Patter on the window-pane:
But they cannot come in here,
To my little baby dear.

For the window shutteth fast,
Till the stormy night is past;
And the curtains warm are spread
Round about her cradle-bed:
So till morning shineth bright
Little baby dear, good night!

Goodnight sleep tight!