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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

GARDEN DAYS: 8. HISTORICAL ASSOCIATIONS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Dear uncle jim, this garden ground
Last Line: Before the gates of babylon.
Alternate Author Name(s): Stevenson, Robert Lewis Balfour

Dear Uncle Jim, this garden ground
That now you smoke your pipe around,
has seen immortal actions done
And valiant battles lost and won.

Here we had best on tip-toe tread,
While I for safety march ahead,
For this is that enchanted ground
Where all who loiter slumber sound.

Here is the sea, here is the sand,
Here is the simple Shepherd's Land,
Here are the fairy hollyhocks,
And there are Ali Baba's rocks.

But yonder, see! apart and high,
Frozen Siberia lies; where I,
With Robert Bruce William Tell,
Was bound by an enchanter's spell.

There, then, a while in chains we lay,
In wintry dungeons, far from day;
But ris'n at length, with might and main,
Our iron fetters burst in twain.

Then all the horns were blown in town;
And, to the ramparts clanging down,
All the giants leaped to horse
And charged behind us through the gorse.

On we rode, the others and I,
Over the mountains blue, and by
The Silver River, the sounding sea,
And the robber woods of Tartary.

A thousand miles we galloped fast,
And down the witches' lane we passed,
And rode amain, with brandished sword,
Up to the middle, through the ford.

Last we drew rein -- a weary three --
Upon the lawn, in time for tea,
And from our steeds alighted down
Before the gates of Babylon.

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