The Sick Child

Robert Louis Stevenson

 
CHILD.
O Mother, lay your hand on my brow!
O mother, mother, where am I now?
Why is the room so gaunt and great?
Why am I lying awake so late?
MOTHER.
Fear not at all: the night is still.
Nothing is here that means you ill -
Nothing but lamps the whole town through,
And never a child awake but you.
CHILD.
Mother, mother, speak low in my ear,
Some of the things are so great and near,
Some are so small and far away,
I have a fear that I cannot say,
What have I done, and what do I fear,
And why are you crying, mother dear?
MOTHER.
Out in the city, sounds begin
Thank the kind God, the carts come in!
An hour or two more, and God is so kind,
The day shall be blue in the window-blind,
Then shall my child go sweetly asleep,
And dream of the birds and the hills of sheep.
 

Poems by This Author

After Reading "Antony and Cleopatra" by Robert Louis Stevenson
As when the hunt by holt and field
Bed in Summer by Robert Louis Stevenson
In winter I get up at night
Block City by Robert Louis Stevenson
What are you able to build with your blocks?
Christmas at Sea by Robert Louis Stevenson
The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand
Envoy by Robert Louis Stevenson
Go, little book, and wish to all
My House, I Say by Robert Louis Stevenson
My house, I say. But hark to the sunny doves
My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me
My Wife by Robert Louis Stevenson
Trusty, dusky, vivid, true
Picture-books in Winter by Robert Louis Stevenson
Summer fading, winter comes
Pirate Story by Robert Louis Stevenson
Three of us afloat in the meadow by the swing
Requiem by Robert Louis Stevenson
Under the wide and starry sky
Summer Sun by Robert Louis Stevenson
Great is the sun, and wide he goes
The Celestial Surgeon by Robert Louis Stevenson
If I have faltered more or less
The Dumb Soldier by Robert Louis Stevenson
When the grass was closely mown,
The Land of Counterpane by Robert Louis Stevenson
When I was sick and lay a-bed
The Land of Nod by Robert Louis Stevenson
From Breakfast on through all the day
The Land of Story-books by Robert Louis Stevenson
At evening when the lamp is lit
The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson
To My Mother by Robert Louis Stevenson
You too, my mother, read my rhymes
Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson
I should like to rise and go
Underwoods: Epigram by Robert Louis Stevenson
Of all my verse, like not a single line
Where Go the Boats? by Robert Louis Stevenson
Dark brown is the river
Windy Nights by Robert Louis Stevenson
Whenever the moon and stars are set
Winter-Time by Robert Louis Stevenson
Late lies the wintry sun a-bed


Further Reading

Poems About Illness
Kaddish, Part I
by Allen Ginsberg
A Litany in Time of Plague
by Thomas Nashe
Afternoon at MacDowell
by Jane Kenyon
Against Elegies
by Marilyn Hacker
Anxieties
by Donna Masini
Auld Lang Syne
by Jennifer L. Knox
Beasts
by Carmen Giménez Smith
Bedside
by William Olsen
Breathing
by Josephine Dickinson
Christmas Away from Home
by Jane Kenyon
Cognitive Deficit Market
by Joshua Corey
Evening
by Gail Mazur
Everyone Gasps with Anxiety
by Jeni Olin
Having it Out with Melancholy
by Jane Kenyon
Her Body Like a Lantern Next to Me
by John Rybicki
Hospital Writing Workshop
by Rafael Campo
In Memory of W. B. Yeats
by W. H. Auden
Losing It
by Margaret Gibson
Mastectomy
by Wanda Coleman
Phases
by Michael Redhill
Prayer for Sleep
by Cheryl Dumesnil
R.I.P., My Love
by Tory Dent
Sick
by Shel Silverstein
The Embrace
by Mark Doty
The Land of Counterpane
by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Nurse
by Michael Blumenthal
The Sick Rose
by William Blake
The Subalterns
by Thomas Hardy
The Transparent Man
by Anthony Hecht
The Visit
by Jason Shinder
To Amy Lowell
by Eunice Tietjens
Tubes
by Donald Hall
Units
by Albert Goldbarth
Visits to St. Elizabeths
by Elizabeth Bishop
Waking in the Blue
by Robert Lowell
When I Consider How My Light Is Spent
by John Milton
Poems About Birth and Parenting
A Woman Waits for Me
by Walt Whitman
Acrobat
by Elise Paschen
After Making Love We Hear Footsteps
by Galway Kinnell
Before the Birth of One of Her Children
by Anne Bradstreet
Central Park, Carousel
by Meena Alexander
Curriculum Vitae
by Lisel Mueller
Daughter-Mother-Maya-Seeta
by Reetika Vazirani
Gods
by Michael Redhill
Goodnight Moon
by James Arthur
Honey
by Arielle Greenberg
In a Landscape: IV
by John Gallaher
Infant Joy
by William Blake
Lost in thought, the baby
by Rebecca Wolff
Morning Song
by Sylvia Plath
Motherhood, 1951
by Ai
Shoulders
by Naomi Shihab Nye
The Difference between a Child and a Poem
by Michael Blumenthal
The Mother
by Gwendolyn Brooks
To My Mother Waiting on 10/01/54
by Teresa Carson
Tract
by William Carlos Williams
Wedding Album 1977
by Tess Taylor
With Child
by Genevieve Taggard
You Begin
by Margaret Atwood