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Posts Tagged ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’

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!

“I held the trunk with both my hands and looked abroad to foreign lands…”

Foreign Lands

Up 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?

Related Posts

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

Read Full Post »

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.

This small compendium of poems are a lovely insight into the world of a child, and many of them have been formed from Stevenson’s own impressions of childhood. They do not use difficult or complicated words, but succinctly and poetically capture the nature of a child’s experiences.

I have recently bought a copy of these verses and was scrolling through them when I found a poem that reminded me of my own children.

The Unseen Playmate

Adventures with the Unseen Playmate

When children are playing alone on the green,
In comes the playmate that never was seen.
When children are happy and lonely and good,
The Friend of the Children comes out of the wood.
 
Nobody heard him and nobody saw,
His is a picture you never could draw,
But he’s sure to be present, abroad or at home,
When children are happy and playing alone.
 
He lies in the laurels, he runs on the grass,
He sings when you tinkle the musical glass;
Whene’er you are happy and cannot tell why,
The Friend of the Children is sure to be by!
 
He loves to be little, he hates to be big,
‘Tis he that inhabits the caves that you dig;
‘Tis he when you play with your soldiers of tin
That sides with the Frenchmen and never can win.
 
‘Tis he, when at night you go off to your bed,
Bids you go to your sleep and not trouble your head;
For wherever they’re lying, in cupboards or shelf,
‘Tis he will take care of your play-things himself!

I particularly like the reference to the obviously Bad Frenchmen! Very English of him!

It is always refreshing to see life through the eyes of a child.

Hopefully I might post more of these gems soon!

Related Posts

Up into the Cherry Tree – another poem by Robert Louis Stevenson

What If?: The Road Not Taken – a poem by Robert Frost

Sources and Relevant Links

Robert Louis Stevenson – website dedicated to all things RLS

A Child’s Garden of Verses – read online

Read Full Post »