Thursday, June 22, 2017

Home is the sailor, home from the sea

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the following poem which I love. It was later inscribed as an epitaph on his gravestone.
by Robert Louis Stevenson

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 long'd to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
I have just discovered that A.E. Housman, another poet I greatly admire, has a similar poem. As best I can tell, Housman wrote this in admiration of, or as a tribute to Stevenson.

Strange that I should have read so much of both their poetry and never have made the connection.
Home Is the Sailor
by A.E. Housman

Home is the sailor, home from sea:
Her far-borne canvas furled
The ship pours shining on the quay
The plunder of the world.

Home is the hunter from the hill:
Fast in the boundless snare
All flesh lies taken at his will
And every fowl of air.

'Tis evening on the moorland free,
The starlit wave is still:
Home is the sailor from the sea,
The hunter from the hill.

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