Do you know Loraine? She is a darling little girl who is visited by the Little People, a group of charming little nymphs sent to explain the meaning of everything from rain to dreams. Written by Elizabeth Gordon in 1915 and scrumptiously illustrated by Penny Ross, the book is now rather sought after and well worth keeping your eyes peeled for, if only because the Queen O’ Sleep is such a blessing for those little one’s who can’t…

The Queen O’Sleep

One night after the lights were out and nurse had gone across the hall to her own room, Loraine felt very lonely and unable to rest. She tried to think of all the things that had made the day beautiful and of the interesting things that to-morrow was sure to bring, but couldn’t make herself quite comfortable.

“Oh dear” she said at last,  “I do wish Sleep would come”

“Good evening Loraine” said a small sweet voice, and as she opened her eyes, there beside her was the dearest small person she had ever seen. She wore a crown of poppies on her head, and a dress of silvery gray with a border of red poppy petals and little satin shoes which looked as if they had been woven from a gray spiders web.

“Oh” exclaimed Loraine. “Are you Sleep? Because you look as I think Sleep would look.”

“Yes Dear” said the little Queen, “I am Sleep, and I have come to have a nice little sleepy-time chat with you. what a very pretty room you have, and how soft and white your pillows are! Many children have none of these lovely things; I and my Little People often have to carry sleep to children who are so cold and hungry that it takes all our power to make the poor little tots forget their unhappiness.”

“Oh Sleep Queen” said Loraine, please take my blankets, and pillows and anything I have, and carry them to the little children who have not enough. I have so much, and everyone is so kind to me! Please let me help.”

“I cannot take your things, dear Earth-Child,” said the Queen, “but I will carry your loving thoughts to them, and you may send them things in your own way, when you are strong and well. Would you like to hear something about my work, little Earth-Child?”

“Oh, if I might” said Loraine delightedly.

“First then, I visit the babies” said the Queen; “They are so little and helpless and need me so much. Then when they are all happily in the Land of  Nod, I go to the people who are suffering and try to make them all comfy. But now you must sleep; my Little People will lull you to rest, and I must go, for I have any other children to visit to-night.”

Then, from all around, sounded the sweetest music, and the air was filled with the odour of poppies. The Queen called softly and in response the Little People of Sleep Land came floating silently in, until the whole room seemed filled with them.

They were such restful little creatures in their silvery dresses, with their arms full of poppies, that Loraine felt happy and comfortable. And Loraine fancied she could see the Little People of Sleep scattering the flower of slumber over her bed, and this was the song they sang:

“Sleep Loraine, sleep
Angels will keep
Loving watch over you;
Sleep Loraine, sleep…”