Sing me a Song of a Lad that is Gone

By Robert Louis Stevenson 1850–1894
Sing me a song of a lad that is gone,
      Say, could that lad be I?
Merry of soul he sailed on a day
      Over the sea to Skye.

Mull was astern, Rum on the port,
      Eigg on the starboard bow;
Glory of youth glowed in his soul;
      Where is that glory now?

Sing me a song of a lad that is gone,
      Say, could that lad be I?
Merry of soul he sailed on a day
      Over the sea to Skye.

Give me again all that was there,
      Give me the sun that shone!
Give me the eyes, give me the soul,
      Give me the lad that's gone!

Sing me a song of a lad that is gone,
      Say, could that lad be I?
Merry of soul he sailed on a day
      Over the sea to Skye.

Billow and breeze, islands and seas,
      Mountains of rain and sun,
All that was good, all that was fair,
      All that was me is gone.

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Poet Robert Louis Stevenson 1850–1894

POET’S REGION Scotland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Coming of Age, Sorrow & Grieving, Time & Brevity, Travels & Journeys, Activities, Youth, Disappointment & Failure, Living

Poetic Terms Common Measure, Rhymed Stanza, Ballad

 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 Coming of Age, Sorrow & Grieving, Time & Brevity, Travels & Journeys, Activities, Youth, Disappointment & Failure, Living

POET’S REGION Scotland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Common Measure, Rhymed Stanza, Ballad

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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