The Childs Garden of Verses

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A Child's Garden of Verses


Robert Louis Stevenson

To Alison Cunningham

From Her Boy

For the long nights you lay awake And watched for my unworthy sake: For your most comfortable hand That led me through the uneven land: For all the story-books you read: For all the pains you comforted:

For all you pitied, all you bore, In sad and happy days of yore:-- My second Mother, my first Wife, The angel of my infant life-- From the sick child, now well and old, Take, nurse, the little book you hold!

And grant it, Heaven, that all who read May find as dear a nurse at need, And every child who lists my rhyme, In the bright, fireside, nursery clime, May hear it in as kind a voice As made my childish days rejoice!

R. L. S.


To Alison Cunningham

I Bed in Summer II A Thought III At the Sea-Side IV Young Night-Thought V Whole Duty of Children VI Rain VII Pirate Story VIII Foreign Lands IX Windy Nights X Travel XI Singing XII Looking Forward XIII A Good Play XIV Where Go the Boats? XV Auntie's Skirts XVI The Land of Counterpane XVII The Land of Nod XVIII My Shadow XIX System XX A Good Boy XXI Escape at Bedtime XXII Marching Song XXIII The Cow XXIV The Happy Thought XXV The Wind XXVI Keepsake Mill XXVII Good and Bad Children XXVIII Foreign Children XXIX The Sun Travels XXX The Lamplighter XXXI My Bed is a Boat XXXII The Moon XXXIII The Swing XXXIV Time to Rise XXXV Looking-Glass River XXXVI Fairy Bread XXXVII From a Railway Carriage XXXVIII Winter-Time XXXIX The Hayloft XL Farewell to the Farm XLI North-West Passage 1. Good-Night 2. Shadow March 3. In Port

The Child Alone

I The Unseen Playmate II My Ship and I III My Kingdom IV Picture-Books in Winter V My Treasures VI Block City VII The Land of Story-Books VIII Armies in the Fire IX The Little Land

Garden Days

I Night and Day II Nest Eggs III The Flowers IV Summer Sun V The Dumb Soldier VI Autumn Fires VII The Gardener VIII Historical Associations


I To Willie and Henrietta II To My Mother III To Auntie IV To Minnie V To My Name-Child VI To Any Reader

A Child's Garden of Verses

I 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?

II A Thought

It is very nice to think The world is full of meat and drink, With little children saying grace In every Christian kind of place.

III At the Sea-Side

When I was down beside the sea A wooden spade they gave to me To dig the sandy shore.

My holes were empty like a cup. In every hole the sea came up, Till it could come no more.

IV Young Night-Thought

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