A Child's Garden of Verses is a delightful look at childhood, written by master poet and storyteller Robert Louis Stevenson. It was among the first poetry written for and about the child's own wonderful world of discovery and imagination—a landmark in the Victorian age, when verse for children was intended to edify and to convey moral instruction in rhyme.
Stevenson had already won renown as a writer of stories when he wrote A Child's Garden of Verses. In this collection of sixty-six poems he uses his mature talent to evoke anew the thoughts and experience of childhood, recalling the joys of his own—from sailing boats down a river, to waiting for the lamplighter, to sailing off to foreign lands in his daydreams.
First published in 1885 by Longhaus, Green and Co (London), 1,000 copies were run. The book was not illustrated until 1895/96 when it was published by John Lane (London) and Charles Scribner's & Sons (NY) and illustrated by Charles Robinson (view it here for free). Since then many, many artists have turned their hand to this collection of poetry. This page is our attempt to show the breadth of possibilities out there and we'll add to it as we find more!
To ALISON CUNNINGHAM
FROM HER BOY
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!
From the 1961 Platt & Munk reprint
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