Christmas at Sea

Robert Louis Stevenson

Fiddler's Green

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The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;
The good red fires were burning in every ‘longshore home;

Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Christmas at Sea” was first published in the 22 December 1888 edition of The Scots Observer, in the poet’s hometown of Edinburgh. Two years later it was selected as the closing work in Stevenson’s Ballads.

On rolling lines of seven beats, the poem juxtaposes the tumult of a ship in rough seas with “the pleasant room” of a Victorian family Christmas. Such contrast was all in a day’s work for the author who penned A Child’s Garden of Verses in early 1885 and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde later that year.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894) was a Scottish writer acclaimed in his own time and today for his novels, essays, poems, and travel writing. Among his most celebrated works are Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and A Child's Garden of Verses. Despite suffering poor health throughout his life, Stevenson was an inveterate traveler, writing of his adventures in the American West, the South Pacific, and elsewhere.

12 pages, with inset title label on the cover.

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