We are all nobly born;
fortunate those who know it;
blessed those who remember.
–Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson is now best known for four of his novels: Treasure Island (1883), Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1885), Kidnapped (1886), and The Black Arrow (1888). He also was an essayist, travel writer, musician and composer.
Stevenson was also a poet. His poem ‘Requiem’ is inscribed, as he wished, on his tomb in Samoa, where he spent the latter part of his life and died. He now rests on Mount Vaea, a spot overlooking the ocean, and this epigraph has become a song of grief in Samoan:
- Under the wide and starry sky,
- Dig the grave and let me lie.
- Glad did I live and gladly die,
- And I laid me down with a will.
- This be the verse you grave for me:
- Here he lies where he longed to be;
- Home is the sailor, home from sea,
- And the hunter home from the hill.
Notes, Sources, and References:
1) Robert Louis Stevenson, on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Louis_Stevenson
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