Item #28133 Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep; 1950s Cross-stitch Sampler. Childrens, Nursery Rhyme, Kangaroo.
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep; 1950s Cross-stitch Sampler.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep; 1950s Cross-stitch Sampler.

1950s. Framed print. I have always wondered about this nursery rhyme. What child would not be frightened by the prospect of dying in the middle of reciting what has become a nighttime prayer?
It starts off well enough, but descends into darkness - "Now I lay me down to sleep / I pray the Lord, My soul to keep: / If I should die / Before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. The Wikipedia entry states that perhaps the earliest version was written by George Wheler in his 1698 book "The Protestant Monastery" and a later version with text consistent with this one printed in "The New England Primer". Of course, children died often in those days so perhaps not so strange a rhyme for the times.

My mother created a less frightening version of this for my siblings and I, skipping the dying part and adding - Make me strong and good and free / And ever take good care of me.

This sampler looks to have been inexpertly and charmingly done by a child. The text of the rhyme is surrounded by animals - a blue kangaroo wearing a purple checked apron holding a candlestick, her joey behind her; a purple cat with her pink and blue kittens; a green frog in a pink apron; a pink mouse with three babies; a yellow elephant with her trunk hugging her purple baby; a green owl asleep with his purple nightcap on; a turquoise hedgehog with a purple baby and a yellow goose with six babies and a turquoise cap on her head. Stylistically, it appears to be 1950s, early 1960s, based on the shape of the cat.

It is framed archivally with acid free triple matting and UV acrylic. The plain wooden frame is a litle marked. In total, it is quite heavy. We have not examined outside of the frame but it is possibly laid down. The visible sampler measures 16 3/8 x 14 3/8"; the frame 21 3/8 x 23 3/4" Very good condition. Item #28133

Price: $275.00

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