Robert Louis Stevenson is remembered for his great literary works, poetry and novels of adventure (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1886, Treasure Island  1883, A Child’s Garden of Verses 1885). Very different from these are his Prayers Written at Vailima, the place where he died of a brain haemorrhage on December 3, 1894. Here is an extract from these Prayers:

We thank Thee, Lord, for the glory of the late days and the excellent face of thy sun.

We thank Thee for good news received. We thank Thee for the pleasures we have enjoyed and for those we have been able to confer.

And now, when the clouds gather and the rain impends over the forest and our house, permit us not to be cast down.

Let us not lose the savour of past mercies and past pleasures; but, like the voice of a bird singing in the rain, let grateful memory survive in the hour of darkness.

If there be in front of us any painful duty, strengthen us with the grace of courage; if any act of mercy, teach us tenderness and patience.

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