The Land Of Counterpane

When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay,
To keep me happy all the day.

And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.

I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Comments (7)

This lovely little poem brings back such fond memories of my childhood. It was in one of two books, one blue, one pink which were entitled, I think, Tales for Little Folk. I remembered the first two lines and I am happy to rediscover it here and to know it is by such a renowned author.
As a child this poem was one of my favorites. Whenever I was ill I too was sent to bed with my toys and loved to create scenes. Many years later it was the inspiration for a painting I did that I called child building his own world. That painting was exhibited in a number of N.Y. galleries and at a special exhibition at Howard University. My niece owns it now. I still love to read that delightful poem that brings back so many childhood memories.
I visited my young grandson in his sickbed this morning and this lovely poem came to mind. I could not remember all of it but have just mailed it to him.
I remember my second English lesson at grammar school when we were asked to bring in our favourite poem to read aloud to the class. I was the only child in the class who came from a council estate with a father who had spent his life working in a factory, the other children had fathers who were doctors, solicitors, headmasters etc you get the picture! We didn't have many books but I did still have a board book with a colourful cover and broken spine which contained just 8 poems, The Land of Counterpane was my favourite - I liked the picture too! I remember turning bright red as I looked at the other children standing up and reading poems from Shakespeare, Browning, Tennyson, some from leather bound books, and here was I standing up reading my battered little board book and hearing the other children giggle and seeing the teacher smirk. I couldn't remember who wrote this poem and it was the last time I ever looked it as I throw the book away on the way home, but here it is and 49 years down the line I can read it again and actually enjoy it and be proud that at least I read out a poem from a renowned poet, even if I didn't realise that at the time!
I love this poem. It is only one of two poems I remember my granddad liking. Everytime I read it it brings back good memories. I must say this is my favorite poem.
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