Congratulations to Katherine Paterson who has just been appointed the national ambassador for young people’s literature. Paterson is quoted as saying: “The main advice she’ll be giving adults: Read aloud to your children.” In honor of our new ambassador I am sharing one of my very favorite poems—it fits perfectly into the wintry month of January and has always evoked the coziness of a warm house and a cup of tea on a wintry night. Enjoy and read the poem aloud to your children!
The Lamplighter, Robert Louis Stevenson
My tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky;
Its time to take the window to see Leerie going by;
For every night at teatime and before you take your seat,
With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the street.
Now Tom would be a driver and Maria go to sea,
And my papa’s a banker and as rich as he can be;
But I, when I am stronger and can choose what I’m to do,
O Leerie, I’ll go round at night and light the lamps with you!
For we are very lucky, with a lamp before the door,
And Leerie stops to light it as he lights so many more;
And O! before you hurry by with ladder and with light;
O Leerie, see a little child and nod to him to-night.