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Bed in Summer-Robert Louis Stevenson

刊登日期: 2016.09.15
作者: Michelle Chan  

In winter I get up at night 

And dress by yellow candle-light. 

In summer, quite the other way, 

I have to go to bed by day. 

I have to go to bed and see 

The birds still hopping on the tree, 

Or hear the grown-up people's feet 

Still going past me in the street. 

And does it not seem hard to you, 

When all the sky is clear and blue, 

And I should like so much to play, 

To have to go to bed by day? 


Summer! What have you done in this summer? Have you been to any new places or met any of your friends? It is a great time for adventures. Yet, Robert Louis Stevenson, a Scottish poet, mentioned in ‘Bed in Summer’ that a persona had to ‘go to bed by day’ in summer. This is not because the persona is lazy or he is sick, but because Scotland enjoys a long day time during summer. In some parts of the world, the daytime in summer is exceptionally long. In Scotland, the sun rises around 4am and falls around 10pm*, and so, the sky is still bright in sight when the persona falls asleep. What would you do if you have such amount of time? It will be a nice idea if you watch a movie, or two, or three! You can swim or refresh yourself with a nice cool drink. Sometimes the sky is ‘so blue and clear’ that it is hard not to relax and go daydreaming. The persona in this poem complained that he had to go to bed when he still saw ‘bird hopping on the tree’ and ‘grown-up people’ were still enjoying their time. It seems that he would rather stay up late in summer. Do you also share the same feeling with the persona? 

* The time of sunrise and sunset varies in different parts of Scotland. 

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