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."

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Comments (22)

This poem was read by John Wayne(!) in the John Ford film They Were Expendable. Read for a fallen comrade, it is a very moving scene.
At the end of the day we all arrive at this place. It's where the light become too frail. It's when the mystery of the world gives way to an empty awareness that nothing can keep us going. It's to those who finally get themselves beneath the wide and starry sky of faith. Too those who love us we are remembered. The mansion out in the open country is welcome as it is really a house of eternal vision where nothing can long be left unrestored and plagued with the light of eternity.
I always felt that Bob could have sexed up the last line of his requiem by omitting 'the' before 'hunter, ie: .....'And hunter home from the hill'....
President Franklin Roosevelt had the last three lines engraved on his tombstone
I don't know what Stevenson's personal beliefs were, but to me this poem expresses the immortality of the soul. Glad did I live... - the poet has experienced all the essential things this life has to offer. ... and gladly die, and I lay me down with a will - and is now ready to enter the world of eternity. Here he lies where he longed to be... Home is the sailor... Home is the hunter... - having cast off the 'material garment' of the body, the soul has now reached its true home, its sanctuary, the home of the spirit; the home of immortality.
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