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A beautiful farewell

VE Day reminded me of all the men and women who did not come home, who never lived the lives they hoped to live.

Robert Louis Stevenson, who died in 1894 at 44, lived a life afflicted by illness, but rich in adventure, love, and the finest writing. In his poem Requiem, which is carved on the stone marking his grave on Mt. Vaea in the Samoan Islands, he has no regrets -

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 longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.'

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