Poem introduction

I love to try and bring a note of mystery to everyday happenings. Here, a child wants his father to build him a sand castle as the tide is falling, but the poem is really about the title of it, which is 'Lord Neptune'.

Lord Neptune

Build me a castle,
the young boy cried,
as he tapped his father's knee.
But make it tall
and make it wide,
with a king's throne just for me.

An echo drifted on the wind,
sang deep and wild and free:
Oh you can be king of the castle
but I am lord of the sea.

Give me your spade,
the father cried;
let's see what we can do!
We'll make it wide
so it holds the tide,
with a fine throne just for you.

He dug deep down
in the firm damp sand,
for the tide was falling fast.
The moat was deep,
the ramparts high,
and the turrets tall and vast.

Now I am king,
the young boy cried,
and this is my golden throne!
I rule the sands,
I rule the seas;
I'm lord of all lands, alone!

The sand-king ruled
from his golden court
and it seemed the wind had died;
but at dusk his throne
sank gently down
in Neptune's rolling tide.

And an echo rose upon the wind,
sang deep and wild and free:
Oh you may be king of the castle
but I am lord of the sea.


from Dragonsfire (Faber and Faber, 1990), copyright © Judith Nicholls 1990, used by permission of the author

Recordings

Judith Nicholls

Judith Nicholls Downloads

1Who Am I?

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2How the Tortoise got its Shell

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3Bluebottle

4Polar Club

5Orang-Utan

6Wolf

7Mosquito

8The Coming of the Kings

9Stable Song

10Bodywork

11Hair-Raiser

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12Mum's Infallible Method...

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13Fighting Sleep

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14Picnic

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15Late

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16Mr Allport's Jacket

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17Learning to Swim

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18Christy's Rap

19Winter

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20Goodwin Sands

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21Fishing Song

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22Elegy

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23Dragon Days

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24Dragon Night

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25Music Lesson

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26Evolution

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27Wordhunter's Collection

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28Moving In!

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29Sloth

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30Slinker's the Name

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31Forty-one

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32Sea Song

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33S S Titanic

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34The Romans in Britain

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35Midas

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36Cnut

37Sister

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38Rap-a-Bye-Baby

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39New Beginnings...

40Partners

41The Cautionary Tale of Archibald Thaw...

42Harvest Hymn

43Storytime

44Lord Neptune

Books by Judith Nicholls