By my bed, on a little round table
The Grandmother placed a candle.
She gave me three kisses telling me they were three
And tucked me in just where I loved being tucked.
Then she went out of the room and the door was shut.
I lay still, waiting for my three dreams to talk;
But they were silent.
Suddenly I remember giving her three kisses back.
Perhaps, by mistake, I had given my three little
I sat up in bed.
The room grew big, oh, bigger far than a church.
The wardrobe, quite by itself, as big as a house.
And the jug on the washstand smiled at me:
It was not a friendly smile.
I looked at the basket-chair where my clothes lay
The chair gave a creak as though it were listening
Perhaps it was coming alive and going to dress in
But the awful thing was the window:
I could not think what was outside.
No tree to be seen, I was sure,
No nice little plant or friendly pebbly path.
Why did she pull the blind down every night?
It was better to know.
I crunched my teeth and crept out of bed,
I peeped through a slit of the blind.
There was nothing at all to be seen.
But hundreds of friendly candles all over the sky
In remembrance of frightened children.
I went back to bed...
The three dreams started singing a little song.
Katherine Mansfield's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (The Candle by Katherine Mansfield )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)
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