A Travel Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson


Robert Louis Stevenson


I should like to rise and go

Where the golden apples grow

Where below another sky

Parrot islands anchored lie,

And, watched by cockatoos and goats,

Lonely Crusoes building boats.

Where in sunshine reaching out

Eastern cities, miles about,

Are with mosque and minaret

Among sandy gardens set,

And the rarest goods from near and far

Hang for sale in the bazaar;

Where the knotty crocodile

Lies and blinks in the Nile

And the red flamingo flies

Hunting fish before his eyes;

Where in jungles, near and far,

Man-devouring tigers are,

Lying close and giving ear,

Lest the hunt be drawing near,

Or a corner-by be seen

Swinging in a palanquin;

Where among the desert sands

Some deserted city stands,

All his 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;

Light a fire in the gloom

Of some dusty dining room;

See the pictures on the walls,

Heroes, fights, and festivals;

And in the corner find the toys

Of the old Egyptian boys.


Huber, Miriam Blanton et al, ed. The Wonder Story Books: The Tales They Tell. (1987) Scribner Education Publishers: New York, Collier Macmillian Publishers. London. Print. Pp. 407-409.