Robert Louis Stevenson

(1850-1894 / Edinburgh / Scotland)

To The Commissioners Of Northern Lights - Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson

I SEND to you, commissioners,
A paper that may please ye, sirs
(For troth they say it might be worse
An' I believe't)
And on your business lay my curse
Before I leav't.

I thocht I'd serve wi' you, sirs, yince,
But I've thocht better of it since;
The maitter I will nowise mince,
But tell ye true:
I'll service wi' some ither prince,
An' no wi' you.

I've no been very deep, ye'll think,
Cam' delicately to the brink
An' when the water gart me shrink
Straucht took the rue,
An' didna stoop my fill to drink -
I own it true.

I kent on cape and isle, a light
Burnt fair an' clearly ilka night;
But at the service I took fright,
As sune's I saw,
An' being still a neophite
Gaed straucht awa'.

Anither course I now begin,
The weeg I'll cairry for my sin,
The court my voice shall echo in,
An' - wha can tell? -
Some ither day I may be yin
O' you mysel'.


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Read poems about / on: water, light, night



Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002



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