Treasure Island

Robert Louis Stevenson

(1850-1894 / Edinburgh / Scotland)

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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Cy Wardroper (2/2/2014 5:51:00 AM)

    I remember my second English lesson at grammar school when we were asked to bring in our favourite poem to read aloud to the class. I was the only child in the class who came from a council estate with a father who had spent his life working in a factory, the other children had fathers who were doctors, solicitors, headmasters etc you get the picture! We didn't have many books but I did still have a board book with a colourful cover and broken spine which contained just 8 poems, The Land of Counterpane was my favourite - I liked the picture too! I remember turning bright red as I looked at the other children standing up and reading poems from Shakespeare, Browning, Tennyson, some from leather bound books, and here was I standing up reading my battered little board book and hearing the other children giggle and seeing the teacher smirk. I couldn't remember who wrote this poem and it was the last time I ever looked it as I throw the book away on the way home, but here it is and 49 years down the line I can read it again and actually enjoy it and be proud that at least I read out a poem from a renowned poet, even if I didn't realise that at the time! (Report) Reply

  • Ben Flanagan (2/16/2006 10:39:00 PM)

    I love this poem. It is only one of two poems I remember my granddad liking. Everytime I read it it brings back good memories. I must say this is my favorite poem. (Report) Reply

  • Lynne Zahra (11/14/2005 10:59:00 PM)

    I also remember learning this poem in primary school and lately have wanted to visit the poets I love.
    I also like John Masefield's 'Sea Fever'. (Report) Reply

  • Sharon Lee Jacobsen (10/22/2005 5:20:00 AM)

    I have been looking for this Poem for a long time. It is the very first poem I ever had to memorize. I remember the hours my mother spent with me helping me. It helps bring back fond memories of my mother. (Report) Reply

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