Counting Sheep – 1937


Turn out the light, get into bed,
Upon the pillow rest my head.
The time is late–well after ten,
Too soon I must arise again,
So now I’d better get to sleep.
I guess I’ll start in counting sheep:
“One, two; three, four; five, six; and seven;
Eight; nine, ten; and then eleven.”
But now the twlfth sheep’s gone astray–
That little black one in the hay.
I can’t count sheep if they won’t mind,
I’ll have to leave the twelfth behind.
And now the rest have vanished too,
“Oh dear, Oh dear! What shall I do?”
I’ll have to get to sleep at once,
Or else in school I’ll play the dunce.
“Oh, Morpheus, thou god of sleep,
Won’t you please bring back my sheep?”
Oh! Here they come in single file,
They’ve trotted many a weary mile.
Come! Over the fence, you lazy sheep.
You’ve got to help me get to sleep.
But thirteen’s an unlucky ram;
For me he doesn’t give a damn.
He tries it once and breaks a limb.
“Come, try again” I say to him.
He tries again but still falls short.
The sheep behind begin to snort.
A final lean, and o’er he goes.
Now fourteen’s dancing on his toes.
So on they go in endless file
They all jump in the latest style.
‘Til with sheep nine-hundred-forty-three,
Morpheus comes at last to me.

Phil Hodge
April 27, 1937