Poetry Sunday: Summer Sun by Robert Louis Stevenson

The daytime heat index around here has hovered close to 110 degrees F all last week. The summer sun has been relentless, unforgiving.

The summer sun envisioned by Robert Louis Stevenson seems a bit gentler sort. He sees the garden and the gardener as welcoming its "warm and glittering look." But personally, my garden and I would welcome a bit of respite from "his golden face." So would my hard-working air conditioner.

Summer Sun

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Great is the sun, and wide he goes

Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty attic spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy's inmost nook.

Above the hills, along the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the World, he goes.


  1. I suspect that the sun of Robert Louis Stevenson's Sottish home was not quite as fierce and unrelenting as what you experience in Texas. The hot spell broke here yesterday, which was very pleasant. We had rain too and everywhere had that wonderful smell that fresh rain brings.

  2. I had enough of the Texas sun just in the several months I lived in Wichita Falls, Texas. I can't imagine what you go through (as I haven't been to your area) come summe. We did have some 90 degree weather this week, for what it's worth. While I long for gardens in winter, I would rather have a northern summer any day (check with me again in January, though). Very nice imagery in this poem.

    1. We all have our crosses to bear when it comes to weather. Ours is sun and drought; yours is snow and ice.

  3. When I worked at R. L. Stevenson School, I felt obligated to read the man. I had an impression of him as pedantic, but, no, I was surprised.

    1. It's always a treat when writers can surprise us.

  4. We never get the excessively hot temps here in my town in Texas. We always get a nice Gulf breeze.

    1. We often get the benefit of those breezes late in the afternoon, the most pleasant part of our day.

  5. Hot here too! The sun is not my friend right now but I enjoyed reading about Robert Louis Stephenson's sun.

    1. It gives me a certain amount of glee to discover a famous author doing something that I had no idea he did - Robert Louis Stevenson and poetry!


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