At the Sea-Side

By Robert Louis Stevenson 1850–1894
When I was down beside the sea
A wooden spade they gave to me
   To dig the sandy shore.
My holes were empty like a cup.
In every hole the sea came up
   Till it could come no more.

Source: The Golden Book of Poetry (1947)

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Poet Robert Louis Stevenson 1850–1894

POET’S REGION Scotland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Nature, Summer, Youth, Living

Poetic Terms Couplet

 Robert Louis Stevenson

Biography

Robert Louis Stevenson is best known as the author of the children’s classic Treasure Island, and the adult horror story, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Both of these novels have curious origins. A map of an imaginary island gave Stevenson the idea for the first story, and a nightmare supplied the premise of the second. In addition to memorable origins, these tales also share Stevenson’s key theme: the . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Summer, Youth, Living

POET’S REGION Scotland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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