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Robert Louis Stevenson

(1850-1894 / Edinburgh / Scotland)

A Good Play


We built a ship upon the stairs
All made of the back-bedroom chairs,
And filled it full of soft pillows
To go a-sailing on the billows.

We took a saw and several nails,
And water in the nursery pails;
And Tom said, "Let us also take
An apple and a slice of cake;"--
Which was enough for Tom and me
To go a-sailing on, till tea.

We sailed along for days and days,
And had the very best of plays;
But Tom fell out and hurt his knee,
So there was no one left but me.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Chaarzarul Rockett (2/13/2014 4:40:00 PM)

    Beautifully written poem. It's about never giving up on the life that we dream of. Mr. Stevenson may have felt that all of his friends gave up on their dreams and left him alone, to bear the weight of freedom, but they may not have been dreaming of doing adventurous things for the rest of their life. I know exactly how he feels. We all tend to think that those doing things differently than ourselves are for the worse, but they may think the same of us. The road less travelled may lead to paradise, but the price we pay is loneliness. (Report) Reply

  • Kristen Brady (8/14/2008 12:26:00 PM)

    This was a wonderfully written poem. I thought the structure was a quatrain, but the structure is so inconsistant, that it could not be a quatrain. Nevertheless, it is a well written poem with good use of rhyme. (Report) Reply

  • Marilyn Lott (8/14/2007 8:55:00 AM)

    He obvious had a wonderful childhood and spent
    much time reflecting back on it. Great work!

    Marilyn (Report) Reply

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