A Child's Garden of Verses (1885)
Robert Louis Stevenson
The Little Land
When at home alone I sit
Through the grasses,
And am very tired of it,
I have just to shut my eyes
To go sailing through the skies--
To go sailing far away
To the pleasant Land of Play;
To the fairy land afar
Where the Little People are;
Where the clover-tops are trees,
And the rain-pools are the seas,
And the leaves, like little ships,
Sail about on tiny trips;
And above the Daisy tree
High o'erhead the Bumble Bee
Hums and passes.
In that forest to and fro
And on high
I can wander, I can go;
See the spider and the fly,
And the ants go marching by,
Carrying parcels with their feet
Down the green and grassy street.
I can in the sorrel sit
Where the ladybird alit.
I can climb the jointed grass
See the greater swallows pass
In the sky,
And the round sun rolling by
Heeding no such things as I.
Through that forest I can pass
Till, as in a looking-glass,
Humming fly and daisy tree
And my tiny self I see,
Painted very clear and neat
On the rain-pool at my feet.
Should a leaflet come to land
Drifting near to where I stand,
Straight I'll board that tiny boat
Round the rain-pool sea to float.
Little thoughtful creatures sit
When my eyes I once again
On the grassy coasts of it;
Little things with lovely eyes
See me sailing with surprise.
Some are clad in armour green--
(These have sure to battle been!)--
Some are pied with ev'ry hue,
Black and crimson, gold and blue;
Some have wings and swift are gone;--
But they all look kindly on.
Open, and see all things plain:
High bare walls, great bare floor;
Great big knobs on drawer and door;
Great big people perched on chairs,
Stitching tucks and mending tears,
Each a hill that I could climb,
And talking nonsense all the time--
O dear me,
That I could be
A sailor on the rain-pool sea,
A climber in the clover tree,
And just come back a sleepy-head,
Late at night to go to bed.
Public domain text taken from The Poets’ Corner: