Robert Louis Stevenson

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What is a summary of “Come, My Little Children” by Robert Louis Stevenson?

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“Come, My Little Children,” by Robert Louis Stevenson, is a poem that encourages children to carefully learn of all of Stevenson’s new songs so that they can hear them in their heads as they fall asleep at night.

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Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem “Come, My Little Children” initially served as the introduction to A Child’s Garland of Songs. The poem consists of eight lines broken up into two quatrains with the rhyme scheme aabb ccdd.

For this poem, Stevenson has a specific audience. The people Stevenson addresses are “little children.” Stevenson summons the children to tell them about the new songs that he created for them. Stevenson informs the children that some are short and some are long. All of the songs, however, are brand new.

In the last two lines of the first stanza, Stevenson warns the little children that he expects them to learn the songs and be able to sing them clearly and pleasantly.

If the children aren’t sure how to learn the songs and sing them in a becoming fashion, Stevenson supplies guidance in the first two lines of the second quatrain. Stevenson advises the children to pay attention to the notes and how they rise and fall. The children should also bear in mind the timing of the notes and the song’s general melody, or the “swing of it all.”

In the final two lines of the poem, Stevenson shares the purpose of practicing and memorizing these new songs. Now that the children have learned to sing such lovely songs, they can have the privilege of hearing them in their heads as they fall asleep at night.

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