A Poem: “Bed in Summer”

Aug 12, 2022 | Posted by Jennifer

One of the hallmarks of spring for most of the United States is the annual shift to daylight saving time. This time switch also happens to run over the summer, when the daylight hours naturally expand until the summer solstice in June. Many children afflicted with the time switch have moaned to their parents, “Why do I have to go to bed when it’s still daylight? I’m not sleepy!” If you have heard your own children say the same, take heart. It’s not a new complaint. Today’s poem by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850‒1894) echoes the same sentiment of a nineteenth-century child. Share this sweet piece with your own not-so-sleepy children, and see if it makes them smile.

Bed in Summer

by Robert Louis Stevenson


In winter I get up at night

And dress by yellow candlelight

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?


If you and your children enjoyed this poem, check out Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization, which features four other poems from Stevenson’s classic children’s poetry collection, A Child’s Garden of Verses. You can enjoy a free sample by visiting this link.

Jennifer Mauser has always loved reading and writing and received a B.A. in English from the University of Kansas in 1991. Once she and her husband had children, they decided to homeschool, and she put all her training to use in the home. In addition to homeschooling her children, Jennifer teaches IEW classes out of her home, coaches budding writers via email, and tutors students who struggle with dyslexia.

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