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Explain the Poem " The Vagabond " by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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kingkhan911 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 23, 2009 at 4:12 AM via web

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Explain the Poem " The Vagabond " by Robert Louis Stevenson.

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lit24 | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted October 23, 2009 at 10:59 AM (Answer #1)

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Robert Louis Stevenson's (1850-1894)  poem "The Vagabond" celebrates the glorious freedom and independence of a tramp's life. All the four stanzas of "The Vagabond" repeatedly emphasize the unrestrained joys of an independent life in the outdoors free from all its hassles.

All that the vagabond is interested in is a life of unlimited travel. He wants to completely avoid all human associations - "nor a friend to know me." All that he wants to do is travel and travel from one place to another without any restraint whatsoever, not concerned about the weather or material wealth or possessions or anything else around him:

"Give the face of earth around,
And the road before me.
Wealth I ask not, hope nor love,
Nor a friend to know me;
All I ask, the heaven above
And the road below me."

He would like to spend his entire life in the outdoors even in the cold autumn and winter months with the sky as his roof:

Not to autumn will I yield,
Not to winter even!

Most importantly, he wishes for a completely carefree life and is not bothered or frightened about death at all:

Let the blow fall soon or late,
Let what will be o'er me.

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