‘Night’ by Eleanor Farjeon

Eleanor Farjeon (1881 – 1965) was a British poetess, author, playwright who liked to make history interesting for children.  She is mostly known for her hymn Morning has Broken (1931) which was written to the tune of an old Gaelic refrain.  I read some of her writings when I was a child (The Little Bookroom) and among her poems, this one has always haunted me.  What I like about this particular poem is that she seems to really understand the childs fears about night-time and the wild imaginings and terrors that can occur: the odd shapes of bedroom furniture that are transformed into all kinds of terrifying beings! (maybe it’s just me? :0).  She then couples the restlessness (which is when the child really starts imagining) with the soothing comforting queen in the blue velvet gown (compare this with the torn worn hood of the thieving gypsy).


Night can be a gypsy
In a torn worn hood,
And a rough gruff voice,
And a dark stark mood,
And holes in her hovel in a dank rank wood.
Lest she steal me away
To the wastes of the sky
I’ll hide from the gypsy
When the wind rides high.

Night can be a queen
In a blue velvet gown,
With a pearl on her brow
And diamonds in her crown,
And a silky silver train lined with swan-white

To sing and to play
In the courts of the sky
Til bow to the queen
When the moon rides high.

Video by poetryanimations Thanks! and there is an  interesting article about this author just under the video by Jim Clark that is well worth reading!

Just Click the Van Gogh image to take you to the video

Whilst we’re on the subject of poetry, opoetoo has just made a comment about my post  which shows some Van Gogh images morphing into each other.……………………………………..this gave me an idea for a challenge!  Are you up for it?  Write a poem about what you think Van Gogh might be saying through the painting, or what message you think he is trying to convey. Put it on your site and link to mine and  I’ll make a page putting all the poems dedicated to this on my blog with a link to yours.  Make as profound or just plain daft as you like!!

9 thoughts on “‘Night’ by Eleanor Farjeon

    1. ‘A talking head and morphing eyes’……..
      Hey you got the first line there 47whitebuffalo:) It’s very Iggy Pop – ‘You’re pretty face is going to hell….’
      Can’t WAIT to see this poem:D

  1. I found the eyes in particular distracting, but I liked the poem. Mr. Clark has an interesting site and niche he has created for himself.

    1. Well spotted Al! I’ll be using some more of his animations:) I think the poets voice on ‘Night’ is very beautiful indeed:)

      I think I shall put this challenge as a seperate post

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