The Land of Counterpane
When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay,
To keep me happy all the day.
And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;
And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.
I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.
I've had a nasty cold for the last few days, and spent some time curled up in bed and on a chair under blankets with a pile of books. So, I'm posting this poem in a fit of nostalgia.
Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses was the second poetry book I ever owned. (The first was The Golden Treasury of Poetry edited by Louis Untermeyer). I can still view it in my mind, though where it went to I'm not quite sure. I had many favourites in the book and may post more on another occasion.
Stevenson came from a well known Scottish family of lighthouse engineers, but though he studied engineering for a short time, his heart wasn't in it, and he turned to literature. He was an only child, and frequently ill with a weak chest. This poem no doubt recalls his own childhood growing up in Edinburgh.
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