Lords of the Nursery
  Wait in a row,
Five on the high wall,
  And four on the low;
Big Kings and Little Kings,
  Brown Bears and Black,
All of them waiting
  Till John comes back.
 
Some think that John boy
  Is lost in the wood,
Some say he couldn’t be,
  Some say he could.
Some think that John boy
  Hides on the hill;
Some say he won’t come back,
  Some say he will.
 
                         High was the sun, when
                            John went away . . .
                         Here they’ve been waiting
                            All through the day;
                         Big Bears and Little Bears,
                            White Kings and Black,
                         All of them waiting
                            Till John comes back.
 
Lords of the Nursery
  Looked down the hill,
Some saw the sheep-fold,
  Some say the mill;
Some saw the roofs
  Of the little grey town . . .
And their shadows grew long
  As the sun slipt down.
 
Gold between the poplars
  An old moon shows;
Silver up the star-way
  The full moon rose;
Silver down the star-way
  The old moon crept . . .
And, one by another,
  The grey fields slept.
 
Lords of the Nursery
  Their still watch keep . . .
They hear from the sheep-fold
  The rustle of sheep.
A young bird twitters
  And hides its head;
A little wind suddenly
  Breathes, and is dead.
 
Slowly and slowly
  Dawns the new day . . .
What’s become of John boy?
  No one can say.
Some think that John boy
  Is lost on the hill;
Some say he won’t come back,
  Some say he will.
 
What’s become of John boy?
  Nothing at all,
He played with his skipping rope,
  He played with his ball.
He ran after butterflies,
  Blue ones and red;
He did a hundred happy things—
  And then went to bed.

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