James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

November 13

Stevenson’s Birthday

By Katherine Miller

  • Robert Louis Stevenson was born November 13, 1850.

  • “HOW I should like a birthday!” said the child,

    “I have so few, and they so far apart.”

    She spoke to Stevenson—the Master smiled—

    “Mine is to-day; I would with all my heart

    That it were yours; too many years have I!

    Too swift they come, and all too swiftly fly.”

    So by a formal deed he there conveyed

    All right and title in his natal day,

    To have and hold, to sell or give away,—

    Then signed, and gave it to the little maid.

    Joyful, yet fearing to believe too much,

    She took the deed, but scarcely dared unfold.

    Ah, liberal Genius! at whose potent touch

    All common things shine with transmuted gold!

    A day of Stevenson’s will prove to be

    Not part of Time, but Immortality.