A very gentle poem describing a boy's life that doesn't seem to fit in with the boisterous tones of his other poems- I wonder if he feels pity for this youngster instead of a pride in his nightmare-less life.
Yeah, there's something unnatural about this poem! I would think a good boy would have a sling shot in his hand and a neighbor's broken window pane, or a can of cooked beans steaming next to what was once grandpa's tool shed - now there's a good boy. This just isn't a poem I think I'll want to revisit; unless someone can give me a coupe reasons to do so...thoughts?
Everyone has missed the unnaturalness of this little boy's life. Stephenson's nurse was a strict Calvinist and her religion and folk beliefs were an early source of nightmares for the boy. It is as though he has to keep a grip on himself to earn a good night. The mention of the ugly dreams indicates that he was not a stranger to them. This is not the poem of a happy boy.
Just chanced upon this poem on here, and it almost made me cry. I chose this poem as an 8 or 9 year old at school to try to memorise and recite in a school assembly or something.
It just reminds me of childhood innocence, and I remember really believing in this poem, and doing my best to live like this. This was back when I believed in the Catholic Church, of course. Oh, how I have changed since then, but I must always try and remember this poem, and keep trying to live this way.
Beautiful, simple words, I love the last couplet, and I think I will read this to my kids each night before they go to sleep, as we have a lilac tree outside their bedroom window.
A very nice poem that reminds us to be good like him. Great poets are like this. They have a positive idea for the world. The rhyme scheme is also good. R L Stevenson has written a number of poems for children of all generation. 'Garden of verses' is a compilation of such poems. If these poems are still remembered, it means that they contain serene reflection of life. Let us breathe that fresh air.