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Windy Nights
Robert Louis Stevenson


Whenever the moon and stars are set,
Whenever the wind is high,
All night long in the dark and wet,
A man goes riding by.
Late in the night when the fires are out,
Why does he gallop and gallop about?

Whenever the trees are crying aloud,
And ships are tossed at sea,
By, on the highway, low and loud,
By at the gallop goes he.
By at the gallop he goes, and then
By he comes back at the gallop again.

This poem is in the public domain.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894) was a Scottish author whose gift for writing ranged from poetry and fiction to travelogues and essays. For many of us, Stevenson was perhaps the first poet to whom we were introduced, through his wonderful book, A Child's Garden of Verses. We may have encountered him again in our youth, in the exotic pages of Kidnapped, Treasure Island, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Always sickly, Robert left his beloved Scotland and spent the latter half of his life in the kinder climate of the South Sea islands. He died much too young and is buried in Samoa, where his tomb is engraved with lines from his poem, "Requiem:" "Under the wide and starry sky/dig the grave and let me lie."





Post New Comment:
Stevenson was quite the writer, and his children's verse is the perfect introduction to poetry!
Posted 02/25/2022 01:30 PM
The essence of poetry is to see the world afresh, as through the eyes of a child.
Posted 02/25/2022 11:25 AM
So many of his poems, I still know by heart from childhood, The Swing, The Cow, etc. Now I'll be reciting them all day!! My favorite poem from when I was little, though, is Fairies by Rose Fyleman. I was the 'queen'!! Thanks, Jayne!!
Posted 02/25/2022 10:25 AM
Totally delightful, thank you Jayne and RLS!
Posted 02/25/2022 09:11 AM
Darrell Arnold:
I would really like to know "why does he gallop and gallop about?" A delicious mystery from the age of horse travel. I feel as if I have been deprived. While well aware of Stevenson as an author, I have, up to this very day, been unaware of Stevenson as a poet. This wonderfully crafted poem is my first step on a new adventure --tracking down more Stevenson poetry. I love it.
Posted 02/25/2022 08:56 AM

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