The Little Land

When at home alone I sit

And am very tired of it,

I have just to shut my eyes

To go sailing through the skies–

To go sailing far away

To the pleasant land of play;

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To the fairy land afar

Where the little people are;

Where the clover-tops are trees,

And the rain pools are the seas,

And the leaves like little ships

Sail about on tiny trips;

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And above the daisy tree

Through the grasses,

High o’erhead the Bumble Bee

Hums and passes.

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In that forest to and fro

I can wander, I can go;

See the spider and the fly,

And the ants go marching by

Carrying parcels with their feet

Down the green and grassy street.

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I can in the sorrel sit

Where the ladybird alit.

I can climb the jointed grass;

And on high

See the greater swallows pass

In the sky,

And the round sun rolling by

Heeding no such things as I.

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Through that forest I can pass

Till, as in a looking-glass,

Humming fly and daisy tree

And my tiny self I see,

Painted very clear and neat

On the rain-pool at my feet.

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Should a leaflet come to land

Drifting near to where I stand,

Straight I’ll board that tiny boat

Round the rain-pool sea to float.

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Little thoughtful creatures sit

On the grassy coasts of it;

Little things with lovely eyes

See me sailing with surprise.

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Some are clad in armour green–

(These have sure to battle been!) —

Some are pied with ev’ry hue,

Black and crimson, gold and blue;

Some have wings and swift are gone;-

But they all look kindly on.

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When my eyes I once again

Open, and see all things plain;

High bare walls, great bare floor;

Great big knobs on drawer and door;

Great big people perched on chairs,

Stitching tucks and mending tears,

Each a hill that I could climb,

And talking nonsense all the time–

O dear me,

That I could be.

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A sailor on the rain-pool sea,

A climber in the clover tree,

And just come back, a sleepy-head,

Late at night to go to bed.

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-Robert Louis Stevenson

If you take a peek through my photos you will often see an old book, weathered and worn, with a dark green cover. The book is, A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, and it is one of my greatest treasures. It belonged to my grandma Ruth. She read it to my father when he was young, and then to me. Once during a visit, she handed the book to me and said “it is yours now”. I often think that it was those poems, and all their talk of fairies and little lands that instilled in me a desire to create such tiny beings.

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