From Breakfast on through all the day At home among my friends I stay, But every night I go abroad Afar into the land of Nod. All by myself I have to go, With none to tell me what to do-- All alone beside the streams And up the mountain-sides of dreams. The strangest things are there for me, Both things to eat and things to see, And many frightening sights abroad Till morning in the land of Nod. Try as I like to find the way, I never can get back by day, Nor can remember plain and clear The curious music that I hear.
Robert Louis Stevenson - 1850-1894
The Dumb Soldier
When the grass was closely mown, Walking on the lawn alone, In the turf a hole I found, And hid a soldier underground. Spring and daisies came apace; Grasses hide my hiding place; Grasses run like a green sea O'er the lawn up to my knee. Under grass alone he lies, Looking up with leaden eyes, Scarlet coat and pointed gun, To the stars and to the sun. When the grass is ripe like grain, When the scythe is stoned again, When the lawn is shaven clear, Then my hole shall reappear. I shall find him, never fear, I shall find my grenadier; But for all that's gone and come, I shall find my soldier dumb. He has lived, a little thing, In the grassy woods of spring; Done, if he could tell me true, Just as I should like to do. He has seen the starry hours And the springing of the flowers; And the fairy things that pass In the forests of the grass. In the silence he has heard Talking bee and ladybird, And the butterfly has flown O'er him as he lay alone. Not a word will he disclose, Not a word of all he knows. I must lay him on the shelf, And make up the tale myself.