Friday, October 16, 2015

"Autumn Fires" -- a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson

My girls had the Little Golden Book version of A Child's Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson.  This is from the 1978 printing of the book, which was the thirteenth printing.  "Autumn Fires" was one of the girls' favorite poems, probably because of the adorable illustration of two little girls raking leaves.  We have never burned our leaves, so that was outside their experience, but they loved the poem anyway.  Here it is:

Autumn Fires

In the other gardens, 
   And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
   See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
   And all the summer flowers, 
The red fire blazes,
   The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
   Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
   Fires in the fall!

The illustrations in this book are by Eloise Wilkin, one of my favorite illustrators.  Notice the details like the rocker on the porch, the incredible view and the wild geese forming a V.  Click on the picture to enlarge it --- and enjoy!


  1. Somewhere in this house is that very book! Yes, I love Eloise Wilkins' illustrations ... so very charming in every detail. Burn permits for burning leaves were out by the time I had children, but I remember well those "fires in the fall" and the heady aroma of buning off the leaves and even the lawn. I'd love to enjoy it again, if it were legal.

  2. Isn't that neat that you have that very book in your house! I have lots of Eloise Wilkin's books, including an Eloise Wilkin Treasury. I would have loved to decorate an entire home using some of the rooms from her illustrations.

    Burning leaves must not have been done very much in our area, for I never remember it, even in my growing-up years. We have burned brush before; one can still get permits for that here if the weather is wet enough. It's probably a similar aroma.

  3. We are actually learning this poem for school this month! :) I found a free printable of it on Pinterest. However, the E. Wilkin illustration is still my favorite!!

  4. That is so neat that you are learning this poem for school. I hope that the kiddos are finding poetry much more interesting with your new approach!


Thanks so much for stopping by to visit my kitchen table! I love company here in my kitchen, so be sure to leave a comment so I'll know you've visited! I'll answer your questions and comments here on the blog unless you request otherwise.