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Famous Poets:

  bullet   Maya Angelou
  bullet   Matthew Arnold
  bullet   Elizabeth Bishop
  bullet   William Blake
  bullet   Anne Bradstreet
  bullet   The Brontė Sisters
  bullet   Robert Browning
  bullet   Lord Byron
  bullet   Lewis Carroll
  bullet   E. E. Cummings
  bullet   Samuel Daniel
  bullet   Emily Dickinson
  bullet   T. S. Eliot
  bullet   Ralph Waldo Emerson
  bullet   Eugene Field
  bullet   Robert Frost
  bullet   Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  bullet   Ernest Hemingway
  bullet   Langston Hughes
  bullet   James Joyce
  bullet   John Keats
  bullet   Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  bullet   Sylvia Plath
  bullet   Edgar Allan Poe
  bullet   William Shakespeare
  bullet   Percy Bysshe Shelley
  bullet   Robert Louis Stevenson
  bullet   Alfred, Lord Tennyson
  bullet   Dylan Thomas
  bullet   Walt Whitman
  bullet   William Wordsworth
  bullet   William Butler Yeats

Robert Louis Stevenson

Born: November 13, 1850 // Died: December 3, 1894

Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He showed interest in civil engineering while growing up, but later decided to study law at the University of Edinburgh, but he was more interested in writing. His first publication was An Inland Voyage which was much praised by critics.

Stevenson married Mrs. Fanny Osbourne in San Fancisco and after a few months, he returned to Scotland with his wife and his new son, Lloyd. Stevenson died of apoplexy in 1894, when he was just 44 years old.

Throughout Stevenson's poor health during his life, he wrote these stories and collections:

  • The Amateur Emigrant
  • Across the Plains
  • Virginibus Puerisque
  • Familiar Studies of Men and Books
  • The New Arabian Nights
  • Treasure Island
  • Prince Otto
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde
  • Kidnapped
  • The Master of Ballantre
  • A Child's Garden of Verses
  • Underwoods

  Robert Louis Stevenson's Poetry: (click on a title to read a poem)
  The Vagabond   Fairy Bread   To Any Reader
  Rain   Windy Nights   My Shadow
  Block City   The Land of Nod   To the Muse
  Pirate Story   Auntie's Skirts   Bed in Summer

The Vagabond
Give to me the life I love,
Let the lave go by me,
Give the jolly heaven above
And the byway nigh me.
Bed in the bush with stars to see,
Bread I dip in the river -
There's the life for a man like me,
There's the life for ever.

Let the blow fall soon or late,
Let what will be o'er me;
Give the face of earth around
And the road before me.
Wealth I seek not, hope nor love,
Nor a friend to know me;
All I seek, the heaven above
And the road below me.

Or let autumn fall on me
Where afield I linger,
Silencing the bird on tree,
Biting the blue finger.
White as meal the frosty field -
Warm the fireside haven -
Not to autumn will I yield,
Not to winter even!

Let the blow fall soon or late,
Let what will be o'er me;
Give the face of earth around,
And the road before me.
Wealth I ask not, hope nor love,
Nor a friend to know me;
All I ask, the heaven above
And the road below me.

Fairy Bread
Come up here, O dusty feet!
Here is fairy ready to eat.
Here in my retiring room,
Children, you may dine
On the golden smell of broom
And the shade of pine;
And when you have eaten well,
Fairy stories hear and tell.

To Any Reader
As from the house your mother sees
You playing round the garden trees,
So you may see, if you will look
Through the windows of this book,
Another child, far, far away,
And in another garden, play.
But do not think you can at all,
By knocking on the window, call
That child to hear you. He intent
Is all on his play-business bent.
He does not hear; he will not look,
Nor yet be lured out of this book.
For, long ago, the truth to say,
He has grown up and gone away,
And it is but a child of air
That lingers in the garden there.

The rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.

Windy Nights
Whenever the moon and stars are set,
Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
A man goes riding by.
Late in the night when the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?
Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
And ships are tossed at sea,
By, on the highway, low and loud,
By at the gallop goes he.
By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again.

My Shadow
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more thank I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

Block City
What are you able to build with your blocks?
Castles and palaces, temples and docks.
Rain may keep raining, and others go roam,
But I can be happy and building at home.

Let the sofa be mountains, the carpet be sea,
There I'll establish a city for me:
A kirk and a mill and a palace beside,
And a harbor as well where my vessels may ride.

Great is the palace with pillar and wall,
A sort of a tower on top of it all,
And steps coming down in an orderly way
To where my toy vessels lie safe in the bay.

This one is sailing and that one is moored:
Hark to the song of the sailors on board!
And see on the steps of my palace, the kings
Coming and going with presents and things!

The Land of Nod
From breakfast on through all the day
At home among my friends I stay,
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the land of Nod.

All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do --
All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams.

The strangest things are there for me,
Both things to eat and things to see,
And many frightening sights abroad
Till morning in the land of Nod.

Try as I like to find the way,
I never can get back by day,
Nor can remember plain and clear
The curious music that I hear.

To the Muse
Resign the rhapsody, the dream,
To men of larger reach;
Be ours the quest of a plain theme,
The piety of speech.

As monkish scribes from morning break
Toiled till the close of light,
Nor thought a day too long to make
One line or letter bright:

We also with an ardent mind,
Time, wealth, and fame forgot,
Our glory in our patience find
And skim, and skim the pot:

Till last, when round the house we hear
The evensong of birds,
One corner of blue heaven appear
In our clear well of words.

Leave, leave it then, muse of my heart!
Sans finish and sans frame,
Leave unadorned by needless art
The picture as it came.

Pirate Story
Three of us afloat in the meadow by the swing,
     Three of us abroad in the basket on the lea.
Winds are in the air, they are blowing in the spring,
     And waves are on the meadow like the waves there are at sea.

Where shall we adventure, to-day that we're afloat,
     Wary of the weather and steering by a star?
Shall it be to Africa, a-steering of the boat,
     To Providence, or Babylon or off to Malabar?

Hi!  but here's a squadron a-rowing on the sea--
     Cattle on the meadow a-charging with a roar!
Quick, and we'll escape them, they're as mad as they can be,
     The wicket is the harbour and the garden is the shore.

Auntie's Skirts
Whenever Auntie moves around,
Her dresses make a curious sound,
They trail behind her up the floor,
And trundle after through the door.

Bed in Summer
In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

Robert Louis Stevenson, Collected Poems [Second Edition]; Edited by Janet Adam Smith; First Published in England by Rupert Hart-Davis Ltd. 1950. p. 245-246, 364, 366, 371, 383, 393, 411.

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