Although Robert Louis Stevenson’s poetry is not as well known as it once was, his collection A Child’s Garden of Verses still stands as one of the most important early collections of poetry for young people. This fantastical poem tells of a child’s impressions of nighttime and the “thousands of millions of stars” which appear to be chasing him or her. Even when packed off to bed, the sight of the stars remains in the child’s mind’s eye. Several star constellations are named in the poem.
Escape at Bedtime was commissioned by Sydney Grammar School for the school’s music tour to New Zealand in 2011.
This text, originally in the Catalan dialect, is generally associated with Christmas. It tells of giving various gifts – things that would have been familiar to the writer of the text – to the infant Jesus: raisins, olives, figs, sweet honey etc. There is a metaphorical hint of the events of Easter in the last lines.
The Son of the Virgin was written for a choir workshop with students of Ascham School (Sydney, Australia) when they visited St Mary’s College in Auckland as part of their tour to New Zealand in 2011.