The Land of Story-books
Robert Lewis Stevenson, 1913
At evening when the lamp is lit,
Around the fire my parents sit;
They sit at home and talk and sing,
And do not play at anything.
Now, with my little gun I crawl
All in the dark along the wall,
And follow round the forest track
Away behind the sofa back.
There, in the night, where none can spy,
All in my hunter’s camp I lie,
And play at books that I have read
Till it is time to go to bed.
These are the hills, these are the woods,
These are my starry solitudes;
And there the river by whose brink
The roaring lions come to drink.
I see the others far away
As if in firelit camp they lay,
And I, like to an Indian scout,
Around their party prowled about.
So, when my nurse comes in for me,
Home I return across the sea,
And go to bed with backward looks
At my dear land of Story-books.
A Fine Picture—Barber’s playful painting illustrates Stevenson’s poem with a twist.—A little girl enacts the role of the “roaring lion” rather than that of the hunter.
A Little Poetry—Stevenson’s poems for children, published as A Child’s Garden of Verses, are remarkable for their sensitive understanding of a child’s imaginative play.
2 thoughts on “The Land of Story-books”
Stevenson never fails in making me smile!
I loved reading *A Child’s Garden of Verses* with my youngest brothers. It is one of my favorite books of poetry.
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