“Pirate Story” by Robert Louis Stevenson

"Pirate Story" by Robert Louis Stevenson
"Pirate Story" by Robert Louis Stevenson

Three of us afloat in the meadow by the swing,
Three of us aboard in the basket on the lea.
Winds are in the air, they are blowing in the spring,
And waves are on the meadow like the waves there are at sea.

Where shall we adventure, to-day that we’re afloat,
Wary of the weather and steering by a star?
Shall it be to Africa, a-steering of the boat,
To Providence, or Babylon, or off to Malabar?

Hi! but here’s a squadron a-rowing on the sea—
Cattle on the meadow a-charging with a roar!
Quick, and we’ll escape them, they’re as mad as they can be,
The wicket is the harbour and the garden is the shore.

A Child’s Garden of Verses (1919) | Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894)

  • This one begs to be memorized!
  • One easy way to encourage memorization is to copy the poem one stanza per day.
  • Have your students act out what is happening in the poem.
  • Draw or illustrate each stanza or line.

Additional Resources

Pirate Story
Simple download for drawing or telling what is happening in each line.

Barty Crusoe

Barty Crusoe and His Man Saturday by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Barty is a good reader for his age … with an excellent imagination! Off he goes with the Good Wolf to a deserted island and a visit with pirates — perfectly polite pirates. Cute book for the youngest by the author of books such as The Secret Garden, Little Lord Fauntleroy, and The Little Princess. Download free.

A Child’s Garden of Verses
This version illustrated by Tasha Tudor is our favorite.