14+ Best Robert Louis Stevenson Poems Everyone Should Read

Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish novelist and travel writer, most noted for Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and A Child’s Garden of Verses.

If you’re searching for famous poems ever that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of powerful Edna Vincent Millay poems, selected Joy Harjo Poems, and most famous Thomas Hardy Poems.

Famous Robert Louis Stevenson Poems

A Child’s Garden Of Verses

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!

Sonnet V –

Not undelightful, friend, our rustic ease
To grateful hearts; for by especial hap,
Deep nested in the hill’s enormous lap,
With its own ring of walls and grove of trees,
Sits, in deep shelter, our small cottage – nor
Far-off is seen, rose carpeted and hung
With clematis, the quarry whence she sprung,
O mater pulchra filia pulchrior,
Whither in early spring, unharnessed folk,
We join the pairing swallows, glad to stay
Where, loosened in the hills, remote, unseen,
From its tall trees, it breathes a slender smoke
To heaven, and in the noon of sultry day
Stands, coolly buried, to the neck in green

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!

Sonnet Ii

So shall this book wax like unto a well,
Fairy with mirrored flowers about the brim,
Or like some tarn that wailing curlews skim,
Glassing the sallow uplands or brown fell;
And so, as men go down into a dell
(Weary with noon) to find relief and shade,
When on the uneasy sick-bed we are laid,
We shall go down into thy book, and tell
The leaves, once blank, to build again for us
Old summer dead and ruined, and the time
Of later autumn with the corn in stook.
So shalt thou stint the meagre winter thus
Of his projected triumph, and the rime
Shall melt before the sunshine in thy book.

Sonnet Vii

The strong man’s hand, the snow-cool head of age,
The certain-footed sympathies of youth –
These, and that lofty passion after truth,
Hunger unsatisfied in priest or sage
Or the great men of former years, he needs
That not unworthily would dare to sing
(Hard task!) black care’s inevitable ring
Settling with years upon the heart that feeds
Incessantly on glory. Year by year
The narrowing toil grows closer round his feet;
With disenchanting touch rude-handed time
The unlovely web discloses, and strange fear
Leads him at last to eld’s inclement seat,
The bitter north of life – a frozen clime.

In Charidemum 

YOU, Charidemus, who my cradle swung,
And watched me all the days that I was young;
You, at whose step the laziest slaves awake,
And both the bailiff and the butler quake;
The barber’s suds now blacken with my beard,
And my rough kisses make the maids afeared;
But with reproach your awful eyebrows twitch,
And for the cane, I see, your fingers itch.
If something daintily attired I go,
Straight you exclaim: “Your father did not so.”
And fuming, count the bottles on the board
As though my cellar were your private hoard.
Enough, at last: I have done all I can,
And your own mistress hails me for a man.

Consolation

Though he, that ever kind and true,
Kept stoutly step by step with you,
Your whole long, gusty lifetime through,
Be gone a while before,
Be now a moment gone before,
Yet, doubt not, soon the seasons shall restore
Your friend to you.

He has but turned the corner — still
He pushes on with right good will,
Through mire and marsh, by heugh and hill,
That self-same arduous way —
That self-same upland, hopeful way,
That you and he through many a doubtful day
Attempted still.

He is not dead, this friend — not dead,
But in the path we mortals tread
Got some few, trifling steps ahead
And nearer to the end;
So that you too, once past the bend,
Shall meet again, as face to face, this friend
You fancy dead.

Push gaily on, strong heart! The while
You travel forward mile by mile,
He loiters with a backward smile
Till you can overtake,
And strains his eyes to search his wake,
Or whistling, as he sees you through the brake,
Waits on a stile.

To Madame Garschine

WHAT is the face, the fairest face, till Care,
Till Care the graver – Care with cunning hand,
Etches content thereon and makes it fair,
Or constancy, and love, and makes it grand?

The Relic Taken, What Avails The Shrine?

THE relic taken, what avails the shrine?
The locket, pictureless? O heart of mine,
Art thou not worse than that,
Still warm, a vacant nest where love once sat?

Her image nestled closer at my heart
Than cherished memories, healed every smart
And warmed it more than wine
Or the full summer sun in noon-day shine.

This was the little weather gleam that lit
The cloudy promontories – the real charm was
That gilded hills and woods
And walked beside me thro’ the solitudes.

The sun is set. My heart is widowed now
Of that companion-thought. Alone I plough
The seas of life, and trace
A separate furrow far from her and grace.

To Miss Cornish

THEY tell me, lady, that to-day
On that unknown Australian strand –
Some time ago, so far away –
Another lady joined the band.
She joined the company of those
Lovelily dowered, nobly planned,
Who, smiling, still forgive their foes
And keep their friends in close command.

She, lady, as I learn, was one
Among the many rarely good;
And destined still to be a sun
Through every dark and rainy mood:-
She, as they told me, far had come,
By sea and land, o’er many a rood:-
Admired by all, beloved by some,
She was yourself, I understood.

But, compliment apart and free
From all constraint of verses, may
Goodness and honour, grace and glee,
Attend you ever on your way –
Up to the measure of your will,
Beyond all power of mine to say –
As she and I desire you still,
Miss Cornish, on your natal day.

Wedding Prayer

Lord, behold our family here assembled.
We thank you for this place in which we dwell,
for the love that unites us,
for the peace accorded us this day,
for the hope with which we expect the morrow,
for the health, the work, the food,
and the bright skies that make our lives delightful;
for our friends in all parts of the earth.
Amen

The Mirror Speaks

Where the bells peal far at sea
Cunning fingers fashioned me.
There on palace walls I hung
While that Consuelo sung;
But I heard, though I listened well,
Never a note, never a trill,
Never a beat of the chiming bell.
There I hung and looked, and there
In my grey face, faces fair
Shone from under shining hair.
Well, I saw the poising head,
But the lips moved and nothing said;
And when lights were in the hall,
Silent moved the dancers all.
So awhile I glowed, and then
Fell on dusty days and men;
Long I slumbered packed in straw,
Long I none but dealers saw;
Till before my silent eye
On that sees came passing by.
Now with an outlandish grace,
To the sparkling fire I face
In the blue room at Skerryvore;
Where I wait until the door
Open, and the Prince of Men,
Henry James, shall come again.

The Light Keeper

The brilliant kernel of the night,
The flaming lightroom circles me:
I sit within a blaze of light

Held high above the dusky sea.
Far off the surf doth break and roar
Along bleak miles of moonlit shore,

Where through the tides the tumbling wave
Falls in an avalanche of foam
And drives its churned waters home
Up many an undercliff and cave.

The Sick Child

CHILD.
O Mother, lay your hand on my brow!
O mother, mother, where am I now?
Why is the room so gaunt and great?
Why am I lying awake so late?

MOTHER.
Fear not at all: the night is still.
Nothing is here that means you ill –
Nothing but lamps the whole town through,
And never a child awake but you.

CHILD.
Mother, mother, speak low in my ear,
Some of the things are so great and near,
Some are so small and far away,
I have a fear that I cannot say,
What have I done, and what do I fear,
And why are you crying, mother dear?

MOTHER.
Out in the city, sounds begin
Thank the kind God, the carts come in!
An hour or two more, and God is so kind,
The day shall be blue in the window-blind,
Then shall my child go sweetly asleep,
And dream of the birds and the hills of sheep.

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