A Child's Garden Of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson

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"In Winter I Get Up At Night And Dress By Yellow Candle-light"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Robert Louis Stevenson, born in Edinburgh, traveled extensively in search of a climate for his delicate health. Using his travels as background material, he wrote novels of high adventure, for which literary form he is mainly noted. Also of lasting fame is his volume of children's poetry, A Child's Garden of Verses, in which he displays unusual perception and quiet simplicity. In his poem, "Bed in Summer," he captures the mood of a child who complains of having to retire before the long day has ended, while the sounds from the street and the chirping of the birds can still be heard, and he is anxious to continue playing:

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.
I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.