November 13, 2014

Happy Birthday, Robert Louis Stevenson

Today, November 13th, was the day Robert Louis Stevenson was born back in 1850.  He is mostly remembered for his novels like Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but I chose a few of his poems to share with you.  They are a nice, less familiar side of Stevenson that I thought should be remembered.  He would have been 164 years old today!

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?

In The Highlands

In  the highlands, in the country places,
Where the old plain men have rosy faces,
    And the young fair maidens
        Quiet eyes;
Where essential silence chills and blesses,       
And for ever in the hill-recesses
    Her more lovely music
        Broods and dies—

O to mount again where erst I haunted;
Where the old red hills are bird-enchanted,       
    And the low green meadows
        Bright with sward;
And when even dies, the million-tinted,
And the night has come, and planets glinted,
    Lo, the valley hollow       

O to dream, O to awake and wander
There, and with delight to take and render,
    Through the trance of silence,
        Quiet breath!       
Lo! for there, among the flowers and grasses,
Only the mightier movement sounds and passes;
    Only winds and rivers,
        Life and death.
Autumn Fires
In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!


Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me;
"Here he lies where he longed to be,
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill."

No comments: