jchap.org 
    James David Chapman


Where go the boats?
By Robert Louis Stevenson

Dark brown is the river.
  Golden is the sand.
It flows along for ever,
  With trees on either hand.

Green leaves a-floating,
  Castles of the foam,
Boats of mine a-boating-
  Where will all come home?

On goes the river
  And out past the mill,
Away down the valley,
  Away down the hill.

Away down the river,
  A hundred miles or more,
Other little children
  Shall bring my boats ashore


Robert Louis Stevenson wrote this beautiful poem a little over 100 miles ago yet:


On go the boats

Clap-Clunk!
 A splash upon my head.
A new river pebble,
 now lies in my bed.

So smooth and so silent,
 so still and so dead,
never knowing, or showing,
 the dreams in its head.

I'm woken, yet stunned,
 so upward I gaze,
through the mirror perfection
 of my unbroken days.

*        *        *

Then comes a green boat,
 drifting through me, and down.
Away through my valley,
 and away through my town.

From source, to receiver,
 Autumn's shed gown:
Circles within me
 and colours me brown.

I've carried you onward,
 so often before.
Yet this time I weep
 as I bring you to shore.

For out, I must cast you,
 others to find,
And I must be left,
 to wither behind.

*        *        *

Yet there in my mirror:
 an old child's face.
Stevenson rowing,
 with care and with grace.

*        *        *

And what of the pebble
 so smoothed and so dead?
And what of the fire,
 the rage in its head?

Emboldened to mountains,
 backwards they reach.
My impossible children,
 the sand of my beach.

@batteredoldbook