Published on December 20, 2003 by

One of my favorite short stories is “Requiem,” by Robert Heinlein. (It’s actually a sequel to “The Man Who Sold the Moon,” another of my favorites.) The title of the short story comes from the title of a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, and the poem is quoted in the story. Maybe it’s just because of the association with the story, but I’ve always liked this poem.

Since the poem is no longer copyrighted, I can reproduce it here:


Under the wide and starry sky
  Dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die,
  And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you ‘grave for me:
  Here he lies where he long’d to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
  And the hunter home from the hill.

This poem is engraved on Robert Louis Stevenson’s tombstone in Samoa.

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3 comments on “Requiem”

  1. Rosalie says:

    Has a hacker gotten to this file? In the second line of the poem “Requiem” the first word is garbled and an animated smiley face winks and grins in an obnoxious sort of way.

  2. No, not a hacker. Just the automated smiley-inserter. I’ve turned it off.

    The HTML code for a non-breaking space (which is how I indent the alternate lines of the poem) ends with a semicolon. The first letter of the second line is a D, which meant the smiley-inserter saw ;D and replaced it.

    Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  3. […] mentioned before that one of my favorite stories is "Requiem" by Robert Heinlein.  I couldn’t […]