Robert Louis Stevenson
1850 Born in Edinburg. Was educated at local schools and with various tutors; attended Edinburgh University 1867-73. Ill health prevented him from following his father and grandfather as a light-house engineer. Studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1875; turned to literature and strove to be a master of prose style.
1878 As a short-story writer and novelist he published numerous notable works: An Inland Voyage.
1879-80 Travelled to and returned from California where he married Mrs. Osborne. During most of the remainder of his life he was a restless traveller to all parts of the world.
1883 Treasure Island was published.
1885 Published A Child's Garden of Verses.
1886 Published Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Kidnapped.
1890 Settled at Vailma, in Samoan Islands.
1894 Robert Louis Stevenson died.
taken from A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES
to Alison Cunningham
From her boy RLS
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!
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 shaould like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?
Whenever the moon and stars are set,
Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
A man goes riding by.
Late in the night when the fires are out,
Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
And ships are tossed at sea,
By, on the gallop goes he.
By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again.
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.
The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow--
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he somestimes get so little that ther's none of him at all.
He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play, One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he's a soward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.
One morning, very early, before the sun was up,