Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy Birthday Robert Louis Stevenson !

Robert Louis Stevenson
Today is the birthday of a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson (13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894). His most famous works are Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. A literary celebrity during his lifetime, Stevenson now ranks among the 26 most translated authors in the world. His works have been admired by many other writers, including Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling, Marcel Schwob, Vladimir Nabokov, J. M. Barrie, and G. K. Chesterton, who said of him that he "seemed to pick the right word up on the point of his pen, like a man playing spillikins." Presenting some poems : Being Poet
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.
A Good Play
We built a ship upon the stairs
All made of the back-bedroom chairs,
And filled it full of soft pillows
To go a-sailing on the billows.
We took a saw and several nails,
And water in the nursery pails;
And Tom said, "Let us also take
An apple and a slice of cake;"--
Which was enough for Tom and me
To go a-sailing on, till tea.
We sailed along for days and days,
And had the very best of plays;
But Tom fell out and hurt his knee,
So there was no one left but me.
Ad Magistrum Ludi
NOW in the sky
And on the hearth of
Now in a drawer the direful cane,
That sceptre of the . . . reign,
And the long hawser, that on the back
Of Marsyas fell with many a whack,
Twice hardened out of Scythian hides,
Now sleep till the October ides.
In summer if the boys be well.
Ad Se Ipsum
DEAR sir, good-morrow! Five years back,
When you first girded for this arduous track,
And under various whimsical pretexts
Endowed another with your damned defects,
Could you have dreamed in your despondent vein
That the kind God would make your path so plain?
Non nobis, domine! O, may He still
Support my stumbling footsteps on the hill!
After Reading "Antony And Cleopatra"
AS when the hunt by holt and field
Drives on with horn and strife,
Hunger of hopeless things pursues
Our spirits throughout life.
The sea's roar fills us aching full
Of objectless desire -
The sea's roar, and the white moon-shine,
And the reddening of the fire.
Who talks to me of reason now?
It would be more delight
To have died in Cleopatra's arms
Than be alive to-night.
Ad Olum
CALL me not rebel, though { here at every word
{in what I sing
If I no longer hail thee { King and Lord
{ Lord and King
I have redeemed myself with all I had,
And now possess my fortunes poor but glad.
With all I had I have redeemed myself,
And escaped at once from slavery and pelf.
The unruly wishes must a ruler take,
Our high desires do our low fortunes make:
Those only who desire palatial things
Do bear the fetters and the frowns of Kings;
Set free thy slave; thou settest free thyself.
Ad Martialem
GO(D) knows, my Martial, if we two could be
To enjoy our days set wholly free;
To the true life together bend our mind,
And take a furlough from the falser kind.
No rich saloon, nor palace of the great,
Nor suit at law should trouble our estate;
On no vainglorious statues should we look,
But of a walk, a talk, a little book,
Baths, wells and meads, and the veranda shade,
Let all our travels and our toils be made.
Now neither lives unto himself, alas!
And the good suns we see, that flash and pass
And perish; and the bell that knells them cries:
"Another gone: O when will ye arise?"
A Good Boy
I woke before the morning, I was happy all the day,
I never said an ugly word, but smiled and stuck to play.
And now at last the sun is going down behind the wood,
And I am very happy, for I know that I've been good.
My bed is waiting cool and fresh, with linen smooth and fair,
And I must be off to sleepsin-by, and not forget my prayer.
I know that, till to-morrow I shall see the sun arise,
No ugly dream shall fright my mind, no ugly sight my eyes.
But slumber hold me tightly till I waken in the dawn,
And hear the thrushes singing in the lilacs round the lawn.