Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) was an author and poet, and some of his well-known works include Kidnapped and Treasure Island. He also wrote A Child’s Garden of Verses, published in 1885, and dedicated it to his nurse.
I have written before about this small compendium of poems, which have been formed from Stevenson’s own impressions of childhood. They are a lovely insight into the world of a child!
This poem is one of my favourites! One can just imagine Robert doing the same in the nineteenth century as my kids do today!
Foreign LandsUp into the cherry-tree Who should climb but little me? I held the trunk with both my hands And looked abroad on foreign lands. I saw the next-door garden lie, Adorned with flowers, before my eye, And many pleasant places more That I had never seen before. I saw the dimpling river pass And be the sky’s blue looking-glass; The dusty roads go up and down With people tramping in to town. If I could find a higher tree, Farther and farther I should see, To where the grown-up river slips Into the see among the ships. To where the roads on either hand Lead onward into fairy land, Where all the children dine at five, And all the playthings come alive.
I remember when I was a child climbing very high up the tree in our front yard, hoping for a glimpse of some magical cloud that led to magical lands at the top (just like in The Faraway Tree, by Enid Blyton!).
Do you have special memories of climbing trees when you were a child?
A Poem: The Unseen Playmate – another poem by Robert Louis Stevenson
Sources and Relevant Links
Robert Louis Stevenson – website dedicated to all things RLS
A Child’s Garden of Verses – read online