Treasure trove of words, photos & special moments

More childhood memories

TRAVEL

Robert Louis Stevenson

Illustrations by Alice and Martin Provensen.

I should like to rise and go
Where the golden apples grow;-
Where below another sky
Parrot islands anchor lie,
And, watched by cockatoos, and
Lonely Crusoes building boats;-

Where in sunshine reaching out
Eastern cities, miles about,
Are with mosque and minaret
Among sandy gardens set,
And the rich goods from near and far
Hang for sale in the bazaar;-
Where the Great Wall round China goes,
And on one side the desert blows,
And with bell and voice and drum,
Cities on the other hum;-

Where are forest, hot as fire,
Wide as England, tall as a spire,
Full of apes and cocoa-nuts
And the Negro hunters’ huts…
Where among the desert sands
Some deserted city stands,
All its children, sweep and prince,
Grown to manhood ages since,
Not a foot in street or house,
Not a stir of child or mouse
And when kindly falls the night,
In all the town no spark of light.

There I’ll come when I’m a man
With a camel caravan;
Of some dusty dining-room;
See the pictures on the walls,
Heroes, fights and festivals;
And in a corner find the toys
Of the old Egyptian boys.

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All of RLS’s published works became public domain in December 1944, fifty years after his death, so they may be quoted without further permission

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