Robert Louis Stevenson > A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods > 9. The Little Land
Stevenson, Robert Louis (1850–1894).  A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods.  1913.
9. 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         5
To the pleasant Land of Play; 
To the fairy-land afar 
Where the Little People are; 
Where the clover-tops are trees, 
And the rain-pools are the seas,  10
And the leaves like little ships 
Sail about on tiny trips; 
    And above the daisy tree 
    Through the grasses, 
High o’erhead the Bumble Bee  15
    Hums and passes. 
In that forest to and fro 
I can wander, I can go; 
See the spider and the fly, 
And the ants go marching by  20
Carrying parcels with their feet 
Down the green and grassy street. 
I can in the sorrel sit 
Where the ladybird alit. 
I can climb the jointed grass  25
    And on high 
See the greater swallows pass 
    In the sky, 
And the round sun rolling by 
Heeding no such things as I.  30
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  35
On the rain-pool at my feet. 
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.  40
Little thoughtful creatures sit 
On the grassy coasts of it; 
Little things with lovely eyes 
See me sailing with surprise. 
Some are clad in armour green—  45
(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.  50
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,  55
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  60
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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