Friday poem: 'The Land of Story-books'

06 March 2015

by Robert Louis Stevenson

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.

Picador ribbon

Robert Louis Stevenson

This poem is what reading is all about, especially when you're seven, as Robert Louis Stevenson is in this picture. It was first published in A Child's Garden of Verses (originally called Penny Whistles) in 1885.

Having a long Friday? Read some of our previous Friday poems to make it go faster.