Mr. Sandman / Birth

"Mr. Sandman / Birth" is the first movement of Erik Santos' song cycle Dreamer: 7 Poems of Langston Hughes.

Date: 2001Composer: Erik SantosText: Langston HughesSong Collection: Dreamer: 7 Poems of Langston Hughes

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Mister Sandman
by Langston Hughes

The Sandman walks abroad tonight,
With his canvas sack o’ dreams filled tight.

Over the roofs of the little town,
The golden face of the moon looks down.

Each Mary and Willy and Cora and Ned,
Is sound asleep in some cozy bed,

When the Sandman opens his magic sack
To select the dreams from his wonder pack.

“Ah,” says the Sandman, “To this little girl,
I’ll send a dream like a precious pearl.”

So to Mary Jane, who’s been good all day,
A fairy comes in her sleep to play;

But to Corinne Anne, who teased the cat,
There’s a horrid dream of a horrid rat,

And the greedy boy, with his stomach too full,
Has a bad, bad dream of a raging bull;

While for tiny babes, a few days old,
Come misty dreams, all rose and gold.

And for every girl and every boy
The Sandman has dreams that can please or annoy.

When at pink-white dawn, with his night’s work done,
He takes the road toward the rising sun,

He goes straight on without a pause
To his house in the land of Santa Claus.

But at purple night-fall, he’s back again,
To distribute his dreams be it moon light or rain;

And good little children get lovely sleep-toys,
But woe to the bad little girls and boys!

For those who’d have dreams that are charming and sweet,
Must be good in the day and not stuff when they eat,

‘Cause old Mister Sandman, abroad each night,
Has a dream in his sack to fit each child just right.


by Langston Hughes

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