Robert Louis Stevenson

(1850-1894 / Edinburgh / Scotland)

The Lamplighter


My tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky.
It's time to take the window to see Leerie going by;
For every night at teatime and before you take your seat,
With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the street.

Now Tom would be a driver and Maria go to sea,
And my papa's a banker and as rich as he can be;
But I, when I am stronger and can choose what I'm to do,
O Leerie, I'll go round at night and light the lamps with you!

For we are very lucky, with a lamp before the door,
And Leerie stops to light it as he lights so many more;
And oh! before you hurry by with ladder and with light;
O Leerie, see a little child and nod to him to-night!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Read poems about / on: light, child, night, sea, sky, sun, time, children

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Comments about this poem (The Lamplighter by Robert Louis Stevenson )

  • Rookie - 0 Points Karen Youderian (8/31/2014 10:30:00 AM)

    I picture a sick little boy approximately 8 to 10 years old who is confined to bed and the lamp lighter is one of his few glimpses of the world outside. He dreams of a day when he is stronger and able to be employed, but that may not be likely. This is possibly how the poem was illustrated in one of my books as a child. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Bibekananda Sen (8/20/2013 2:53:00 AM)

    The poem is a poem of wishful thinkings.such thinkings are very favourite with the poets. this poem also reminds me of a Bengali play by Rabindranath Thakur, titled 'Dakghar' (The Post office) , where there is a character of a child, Amal who has vented such wishful desires to a curd vendor n suchlike characters. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie teal Sky (4/15/2012 9:33:00 AM)

    this poem once appeared in my exams, and from then, i have always admired this poem.there are few memorable lines But I, when I am stronger and can choose what I'm to do,
    O Leerie, I'll go round at night and light the lamps with you!
    and And oh! before you hurry by with ladder and with light;
    O Leerie, see a little child and nod to him to-night!
    the poem rhymes, such a cute poem, the depiction of child in innocent.he chooses to light lamps than being a hotshot banker. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Zoya Vincent (10/7/2008 10:49:00 AM)

    i dont have comments really but i want two ask u two questions 1 st pon the summary of the poem 2 nd one how old do u think is the boy? give reosons (Report) Reply

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