Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,
Up stairs and down stairs in his night-gown,
Tapping at the window, crying at the lock,
"Are the children in their bed, for it's now ten o'clock?"
"Hey, Willie Winkie, are you coming in?
The cat's singing purring to the sleeping hen,
The dog's spread out on the floor, and doesn't give a cheep,
But here's an insomniac boy who will not fall asleep!"
Anything but sleep, you rogue! glowering like the moon,
Rattling in an iron jug with an iron spoon,
Rumbling, tumbling round about, crowing like a cock,
Shrieking like I don't know what, waking sleeping folk.
"Hey, Willie Winkie - the child's in a basket!
Wriggling from everyone's knee like an eel,
Tugging at the cat's ear, and confusing all her purrs
Hey, Willie Winkie - see, there he comes!"
Weary is the mother who has a dusty child,
A small short child, who can't run on his own,
Who always has a battle with sleep before he'll close an eye
But a kiss from his rosy lips gives strength anew to me.
Some children still request Wee Willie Winkie to assist them when they are to damp the sheet or enter on a sleepwalk. The feeling of Wee Willie Winkie himself shares an area with new bedtime entities such as the Sandman, Ole Luke Oie of Scandinavia, and Dormette of France.