Robert William Service

I Own A Gorgeous By Robert William Service

I Own A Gorgeous By Robert William Service

I own a gorgeous Cadillac, A chauffeur garbed in blue; And as I sit behind his back His beefy neck I view. Yet let me whisper, though you may Think me a queer old cuss, From Claude I often sneak away To board a bus. A democrat, I love the crowd, The bustle and the din; The market wives who gab aloud... »

My Garret By Robert William Service

My Garret By Robert William Service

My Garret Here is my Garret up five flights of stairs; Here’s where I deal in dreams and ply in fancies, Here is the wonder-shop of all my wares, My sounding sonnets and my red romances. Here’s where I challenge Fate and ring my rhymes, And grope at glory — aye, and starve at times... »

Bill’s Grave By Robert William Service

Bill’s Grave By Robert William Service

Bill’s Grave I’m gatherin’ flowers by the wayside to lay on the grave of Bill; I’ve sneaked away from the billet, ’cause Jim wouldn’t understand; ‘E’d call me a silly fat’ead, and larf till it made ‘im ill, To see me ‘ere in the cornf... »

I’m Just A Mediocre Man By Robert William Service

I’m Just A Mediocre Man By Robert William Service

I’m just a mediocre man Of no high-brow pretence; A comfortable life I plan With care and commonsense. I do the things most people do, I echo what they say; And through my morning paper view The problems of the day. No doubt you think I’m colourless, Profoundly commonplace; And yet I fan... »

‘nay; I Don’t Need A By Robert William Service

‘nay; I Don’t Need A By Robert William Service

‘Nay; I don’t need a hearing aid’ I told Mama-in-law; ‘For if I had I’d be afraid Of your eternal jaw; Although at me you often shout, I’m undisturbed; To tell the truth I can’t make out A single word.’ And it’s the same with others who Attempt t... »

You Ask Me What I Call By Robert William Service

You Ask Me What I Call By Robert William Service

You ask me what I call Success – It is, I wonder, Happiness? It is not wealth, it is not fame, Nor rank, nor power nor honoured name. It is not triumph in the Arts – Best-selling books or leading parts. It is not plaudits of the crowd, The flame of flags, processions proud. The panegyric... »

You And Me By Robert William Service

You And Me By Robert William Service

You And Me I’m part of people I have known And they are part of me; The seeds of thought that I have sown In other minds I see. There’s something of me in the throne And in the gallows tree. There’s something of me in each one With whom I work and play, For islanded there can be no... »

You Can’t Can Love By Robert William Service

You Can’t Can Love By Robert William Service

You Can’T Can Love I don’t know how the fishes feel, but I can’t help thinking it odd, That a gay young flapper of a female eel should fall in love with a cod. Yet – that’s exactly what she did and it only goes to prove, That’ what evr you do you can’t put t... »

You Make It In Your By Robert William Service

You Make It In Your By Robert William Service

You make it in your mess-tin by the brazier’s rosy gleam; You watch it cloud, then settle amber clear; You lift it with your bay’nit, and you sniff the fragrant steam; The very breath of it is ripe with cheer. You’re awful cold and dirty, and a-cursin’ of your lot; You scoff ... »

You See That Sheaf Of By Robert William Service

You See That Sheaf Of By Robert William Service

You see that sheaf of slender books Upon the topmost shelf, At which no browser ever looks, Because they’re by . . . myself; They’re neatly bound in navy blue, But no one ever heeds; Their print is clear and candid too, Yet no one ever reads. Poor wistful books! How much they cost To me ... »

You Speak To Me, But By Robert William Service

You Speak To Me, But By Robert William Service

You speak to me, but does your speech With truest truth your thought convey? I listen to your words and each Is what I wait to hear you say. The pattern that your lips reveal, How does it measure with your mind? What undertones do you conceal? Your smile is sweet – but what’s behind? I s... »

The Flower Shop By Robert William Service

The Flower Shop By Robert William Service

The Flower Shop Because I have no garden and No pence to buy, Before the flower shop I stand And sigh. The beauty of the Springtide spills In glowing posies Of voilets and daffodils And roses. And as I see that joy of bloom, Sad sighing, I think of Mother in her room, Lone lying. She babbles of the ... »

The Fool By Robert William Service

The Fool By Robert William Service

The Fool “But it isn’t playing the game,” he said, And he slammed his books away; “The Latin and Greek I’ve got in my head Will do for a duller day.” “Rubbish!” I cried; “The bugle’s call Isn’t for lads from school.” D’ye ... »

The Front Tooth By Robert William Service

The Front Tooth By Robert William Service

The Front Tooth A-sittin’ in the Bull and Pump With double gins to keep us cheery Says she to me, says Polly Crump” “What makes ye look so sweet. me dearie? As if ye’d gotten back yer youth . . . .” Says I: “It’s just me new front tooth.” Says Polly Cr... »

The General Now Lives In By Robert William Service

The General Now Lives In By Robert William Service

The General now lives in town; He’s eighty odd, they say; You’ll see him strolling up and down The Prada any day. He goes to every football game, The bull-ring knows his voice, And when the people cheer his name Moscardo must rejoice. Yet does he, in the gaiety Of opera and ball, A dingy... »

The Ghosts By Robert William Service

The Ghosts By Robert William Service

The Ghosts Said Lenin’s ghost to Stalin’s ghost: “Mate with me in the Tomb; Then day by day the rancid host May gaze upon our doom. A crystal casket we will share; Come, crusty Comrade come, And we will bear the public stare, Ad nauseum.” Said Stalin’s spook to Lenin... »

The Goat And I By Robert William Service

The Goat And I By Robert William Service

The Goat And I Each sunny day upon my way A goat I pass; He has a beard of silver grey, A bell of brass. And all the while I am in sight He seems to muse, And stares at me with all his might And chews and chews. Upon the hill so thymy sweet With joy of Spring, He hails me with a tiny bleat Of welcom... »

The God Of Common-Sense By Robert William Service

The God Of Common-Sense By Robert William Service

The God Of Common-Sense My Daddy used to wallop me for every small offense: “Its takes a hair-brush back,” said he, “to teach kids common-sense.” And still to-day I scarce can look a hair-brush in the face. Without I want in sympathy to pat a tender place. For Dad declared wi... »

The God Of Scribes By Robert William Service

The God Of Scribes By Robert William Service

The God of Scribes looked down and saw The bitter band of seven, Who had outraged his holy law And lost their hope of Heaven: Came Villon, petty thief and pimp, And obscene Baudelaire, And Byron with his letcher limp, And Poe with starry stare. And Wilde who lived his hell on earth, And Burns, the b... »

The Gramaphone At Fond-Du-Lac By Robert William Service

The Gramaphone At Fond-Du-Lac By Robert William Service

The Gramaphone At Fond-Du-Lac Now Eddie Malone got a swell grammyfone to draw all the trade to his store; An’ sez he: “Come along for a season of song, which the like ye had niver before.” Then Dogrib, an’ Slave, an’ Yellow-knife brave, an’ Cree in his dinky canoe... »

The Great Recall By Robert William Service

The Great Recall By Robert William Service

The Great Recall I’ve wearied of so many things Adored in youthful days; Music no more my spirit wings, E’en when Master play. For stage and screen I have no heart, Great paintings leave me cold; Alas! I’ve lost the love of Art That raptured me of old. Only my love of books is left... »

The Greatest Writer Of By Robert William Service

The Greatest Writer Of By Robert William Service

The Greatest Writer of to-day (With Maupassant I almost set him) Said to me in a weary way, The last occasion that I met him: “Old chap, this world is more and more Becoming bourgeois, blasé, blousy: Thank God I’ve lived so long before It got so definitely lousy.” Said I: “Ol... »

The Haggis Of Private Mcphee By Robert William Service

The Haggis Of Private Mcphee By Robert William Service

The Haggis Of Private Mcphee “Hae ye heard whit ma auld mither’s postit tae me? It fair maks me hamesick,” says Private McPhee. “And whit did she send ye?” says Private McPhun, As he cockit his rifle and bleezed at a Hun. “A haggis! A Haggis!” says Private M... »

The Hat By Robert William Service

The Hat By Robert William Service

The Hat In city shop a hat I saw That to my fancy seemed to strike, I gave my wage to buy the straw, And make myself a one the like. I wore it to the village fair; Oh proud I was, though poor was I. The maids looked at me with a stare, The lads looked at me with a sigh. I wore it Sunday to the Mass.... »

The Hand By Robert William Service

The Hand By Robert William Service

The Hand Throughout my life I see A guiding hand; The pitfalls set for me Were grimly planned. But always when and where They opened wide, Someone who seemed to care Stood by my side. When up the pathway dark I stumbled on, Afar, ahead a spark Of guidance shone. When forked the tragic trail And sad ... »

The Harpy By Robert William Service

The Harpy By Robert William Service

The Harpy There was a woman, and she was wise; woefully wise was she; She was old, so old, yet her years all told were but a score and three; And she knew by heart, from finish to start, the Book of Iniquity. There is no hope for such as I on earth, nor yet in Heaven; Unloved I live, unloved I die, ... »

Lord, I’m Grey, My Face By Robert William Service

Lord, I’m Grey, My Face By Robert William Service

Lord, I’m grey, my face is run, But by old Harry, I’ve had my fun; And all about, I seem to see Lads and lassies that look like me; Ice-blue eyes on every hand, Handsomest youngsters in the land. “Old Stud Horse” they say of me, But back of my beard I laugh with glee. Far and... »

Agnostic By Robert William Service

Agnostic By Robert William Service

Agnostic The chapel looms against the sky, Above the vine-clad shelves, And as the peasants pass it by They cross themselves. But I alone, I grieve to state, Lack sentiment divine: A citified sophisticate, I make no sign. Their gesture may a habit be, Mechanic in a sense, Yet somehow it awakes in me... »

Fool Faith By Robert William Service

Fool Faith By Robert William Service

Fool Faith Said I: “See yon vast heaven shine,– What earthly sight diviner? Before such radiant Design Why doubt Designer?” Said he: “Design is just a thought In human cerebration, And meaningless if Man is not Part of creation. “But grant Design,–we may imply The... »

My Bear By Robert William Service

My Bear By Robert William Service

My Bear I never killed a bear because I always thought them critters was So kindo’ cute; Though round my shack they often came, I’d raise my rifle and take aim, But couldn’t shoot. Yet there was one full six-feet tall Who came each night and gobbled all The grub in sight; On my pet... »

Balloon By Robert William Service

Balloon By Robert William Service

Balloon I bought my little grandchild Ann A bright balloon, And I was such a happy man To hear her croon. She laughed and babbled with delight, So gold its glow, As by a thread she held it tight, Then–let it go. As if it gloried to be free It climbed the sky; But oh how sorrowful was she, And ... »

Grand-Père By Robert William Service

Grand-Père By Robert William Service

Grand-PÈRe And so when he reached my bed The General made a stand: “My brave young fellow,” he said, “I would shake your hand.” So I lifted my arm, the right, With never a hand at all; Only a stump, a sight Fit to appal. “Well, well. Now that’s too bad! That’... »

Jim By Robert William Service

Jim By Robert William Service

Jim Never knew Jim, did you? Our boy Jim? Bless you, there was the likely lad; Supple and straight and long of limb, Clean as a whistle, and just as glad. Always laughing, wasn’t he, dad? Joy, pure joy to the heart of him, And, oh, but the soothering ways he had, Jim, our Jim! But I see him be... »

A Little Prayer By Robert William Service

A Little Prayer By Robert William Service

A Little Prayer Let us be thankful, Lord, for little things – The song of birds, the rapture of the rose; Cloud-dappled skies, the laugh of limpid springs, Drowned sunbeams and the perfume April blows; Bronze wheat a-shimmer, purple shade of trees – Let us be thankful, Lord of Life, for ... »

Hot Digitty Dog By Robert William Service

Hot Digitty Dog By Robert William Service

Hot Digitty Dog Hot digitty dog! Now, ain’t it queer, I’ve been abroad for over a year; Seen a helluva lot since then, Killed, I reckon, a dozen men; Six was doubtful, but six was sure, Three in Normandy, three in the Ruhr. Four I got with a hand grenade, Two I shot in a midnight raid: O... »

Maids In May By Robert William Service

Maids In May By Robert William Service

Maids In May Three maids there were in meadow bright, The eldest less then seven; Their eyes were dancing with delight, And innocent as Heaven. Wild flowers they wound with tender glee, Their cheeks with rapture rosy; All radiant they smiled at me, When I besought a posy. She gave me a columbine, An... »

An Englishman Was Thomas By Robert William Service

An Englishman Was Thomas By Robert William Service

An Englishman was Thomas Paine Who bled for liberty; But while his fight was far from vain He died in poverty: Though some are of the sober thinking ‘Twas due to drinking. Yet this is what appeals to me: Cobbet, a friend, loved him so well He sailed across the surly sea To raw and rigid New Ro... »

France, August First, By Robert William Service

France, August First, By Robert William Service

(France, August first, 1914) Far and near, high and clear, Hark to the call of War! Over the gorse and the golden dells, Ringing and swinging of clamorous bells, Praying and saying of wild farewells: War! War! War! High and low, all must go: Hark to the shout of War! Leave to the women the harvest y... »

My Daddy Used To Wallop By Robert William Service

My Daddy Used To Wallop By Robert William Service

My Daddy used to wallop me for every small offense: “Its takes a hair-brush back,” said he, “to teach kids common-sense.” And still to-day I scarce can look a hair-brush in the face. Without I want in sympathy to pat a tender place. For Dad declared with unction: “Spare... »

Because My Teeth Are By Robert William Service

Because My Teeth Are By Robert William Service

Because my teeth are feebly few I cannot bolt my grub like you, But have to chew and chew and chew As you can see; Yet every mouthful seems so good I would not haste it if I could, And so I salivate my food With ecstasy. Because my purse is poor in pence I spend my dough with common-sense, And live ... »

He Dreamed Away His By Robert William Service

He Dreamed Away His By Robert William Service

He dreamed away his hours in school; He sat with such an absent air, The master reckoned him a fool, And gave him up in dull despair. When other lads were making hay You’d find him loafing by the stream; He’d take a book and slip away, And just pretend to fish . . . and dream. His brothe... »

My Dog’s My Boss By Robert William Service

My Dog’s My Boss By Robert William Service

My Dog’s My Boss Each day when it’s anighing three Old Dick looks at the clock, Then proudly brings my stick to me To mind me of our walk. And in his doggy rapture he Does everything but talk. But since I lack his zip and zest My old bones often tire; And so I ventured to suggest Today w... »

I Am The Cannon King, By Robert William Service

I Am The Cannon King, By Robert William Service

I am the Cannon King, behold! I perish on a throne of gold. With forest far and turret high, Renowned and rajah-rich am I. My father was, and his before, With wealth we owe to war on war; But let no potentate be proud . . . There are no pockets in a shroud. By nature I am mild and kind, To gentlenes... »

Being A Shorty, As You By Robert William Service

Being A Shorty, As You By Robert William Service

Being a shorty, as you see, A bare five footer, The why my wife is true to me Is my six-shooter. For every time a guy goes by Who looks like a lover, I polish it to catch his eye, And spin it over. He notes its notches as I say: ‘Believe me, Brother, If Junie ever goes astray, They’ll be... »

Mike By Robert William Service

Mike By Robert William Service

Mike My lead dog Mike was like a bear; I reckon he was grizzly bred, For when he reared up in the air Ho over-topped me by a head. He’d cuff me with his hefty paws, Jest like a puppy actin’ cute, And I would swear: by Gosh! he was The world’s most mighty malemute. But oh the grub t... »

He Was My Best And By Robert William Service

He Was My Best And By Robert William Service

He was my best and oldest friend. I’d known him all my life. And yet I’m sure towards the end He knew I loved his wife, And wonder, wonder if it’s why He came so dreadfully to die. He drove his car at racing speed And crashed into a tree. How could he have so little heed? A skillfu... »

As You Gaze Beyond The By Robert William Service

As You Gaze Beyond The By Robert William Service

As you gaze beyond the bay With such wanness in your eyes, You who have out-stayed your day, Seeing other stars arise, Slender though your lifehold be, Still you dream beside the sea. We, alas! may live too long, Know the best part of us die; Echo of your even-song Hushes down the darkling sky . . .... »

Fighting Mac By Robert William Service

Fighting Mac By Robert William Service

Fighting Mac A Life Tragedy A pistol shot rings round and round the world; In pitiful defeat a warrior lies. A last defiance to dark Death is hurled, A last wild challenge shocks the sunlit skies. Alone he falls, with wide, wan, woeful eyes: Eyes that could smile at death — could not face sham... »

Moko, The Educated Ape By Robert William Service

Moko, The Educated Ape By Robert William Service

Moko, the Educated Ape is here, The pet of vaudeville, so the posters say, And every night the gaping people pay To see him in his panoply appear; To see him pad his paunch with dainty cheer, Puff his perfecto, swill champagne, and sway Just like a gentleman, yet all in play, Then bow himself off st... »

At Dusk I Saw A By Robert William Service

At Dusk I Saw A By Robert William Service

At dusk I saw a craintive mouse That sneaked and stole around the house; At first I took it for a ghost, For it was snowy white – almost. I’ve seen them in captivity, But this white mouse was wild and free, And every eye with stealth it stole And foraged in the garbage hole. I told the f... »

God’s Grief By Robert William Service

God’s Grief By Robert William Service

God’s Grief “Lord God of Hosts,” the people pray, “Make strong our arms that we may slay Our cursed foe and win the day.” “Lord God of Battles,” cries the foe, “Guide us to strike a bloody blow, And lay the adversary low.” But brooding o’er... »

I’ve Made My Will By Robert William Service

I’ve Made My Will By Robert William Service

I’ve made my Will. I don’t believe In luxury and wealth; And to those loving ones who grieve My age and frailing health I give the meed to soothe their ways That they may happy be, And pass serenely all their days In snug security. That duty done, I leave behind The all I have to give To... »

Zut! It’s Two O’clock. By Robert William Service

Zut! It’s Two O’clock. By Robert William Service

Zut! it’s two o’clock. See! the lights are jumping. Finish up your bock, Time we all were humping. Waiters stack the chairs, Pile them on the tables; Let us to our lairs Underneath the gables. Up the old Boul’ Mich’ Climb with steps erratic. Steady . . . how I wish I was in m... »

You Never Saw A Cat With By Robert William Service

You Never Saw A Cat With By Robert William Service

You never saw a cat with wings, I’ll bet a dollar — well, I did; ‘Twas one of those fantastic things One runs across in old Madrid. A walloping big tom it was, (Maybe of the Angora line), With silken ears and velvet paws, And silver hair, superbly fine. It sprawled upon a crimson m... »

You Talk O’ Prayer An’ By Robert William Service

You Talk O’ Prayer An’ By Robert William Service

You talk o’ prayer an’ such – Well, I jest don’t know how; I guess I got as much Religion as a cow. I fight an’ drink an’ swear; Red hell I often raise, But never said a prayer In all my days. I’m honest, right enough; Don’t take no stock in crimes; I&... »

You Want Me To Tell You By Robert William Service

You Want Me To Tell You By Robert William Service

You want me to tell you a story, a yarn of the firin’ line, Of our thin red kharki ‘eroes, out there where the bullets whine; Out there where the bombs are bustin’, and the cannons like ‘ell-doors slam — Just order another drink, boys, and I’ll tell you of Soulful... »

Young Fellow My Lad By Robert William Service

Young Fellow My Lad By Robert William Service

Young Fellow My Lad “Where are you going, Young Fellow My Lad, On this glittering morn of May?” “I’m going to join the Colours, Dad; They’re looking for men, they say.” “But you’re only a boy, Young Fellow My Lad; You aren’t obliged to go.”... »

Young Man, Gather Gold By Robert William Service

Young Man, Gather Gold By Robert William Service

Young man, gather gold and gear, they will wear you well; You can thumb your nose at fear, Wish the horde in hell. With the haughty you can be Insolent and bold: Young man, if you would be free Gather gear and gold. Mellow man o middle age, Buy a little farm; Then let revolution rage, you will take ... »

Young Mother By Robert William Service

Young Mother By Robert William Service

Young Mother Her baby was so full of glee, And through the day It laughed and babbled on her knee In happy play. It pulled her hair all out of curl With noisy joy; So peppy she was glad her girl Was not a boy. Then as she longed for it to sleep, To her surprise It just relaxed within her keep With c... »

The Harridan Who Holds By Robert William Service

The Harridan Who Holds By Robert William Service

The harridan who holds the inn At which I toss a pot, Is old and uglier than sin,– I’m glad she knows me not. Indeed, for me it’s hard to think, Although my pow’s like snow, She was the lass so fresh and pink I courted long ago. I wronged her, yet it’s sadly true She wa... »