Robert Service Poems

  • 551.  
    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',
  • 552.  
    I

  • 553.  
    'Twas up in a land long famed for gold, where women were far and rare,
    Tellus, the smith, had taken to wife a maiden amazingly fair;Tellus, the brawny worker in iron, hairy and heavy of hand,
  • 554.  
    To Dawson Town came Percy Brown from London on the Thames.
    A pane of glass was in his eye, and stockings on his stems.Upon the shoulder of his coat a leather pad he wore,
  • 555.  
    Only a Leather Medal, hanging there on the wall,
    Dingy and frayed and faded, dusty and worn and old;Yet of my humble treasures I value it most of all,
  • 556.  
    One of the Down and Out-that's me. Stare at me well, ay, stare!
    Stare and shrink-say! you wouldn't think that I was a millionaire.Look at my face, it's crimped and gouged-one of them death-mask things;
  • 557.  
    Beyond the Rocking Bridge it lies, the burg of evil fame,
    The huts where hive and swarm and thrive the sisterhood of shame.Through all the night each cabin light goes out and then goes in,
  • 558.  
    Upon his way to rob a Bank
    He paused to watch a fire;Though crowds were pressing rank on rank
  • 559.  
    Dames should be doomed to dungeons
    Who masticate raw onions.
  • 560.  
    This year an ocean trip I took, and as I am a Scot
    And like to get my money's worth I never missed a meal.In spite of Neptune's nastiness I ate an awful lot,
  • 561.  
    Confound all aberrations which
    Make men do foolish things,Like buying bracelets for a bitch,
  • 562.  
    Humping it here in the dug-out,
    Sucking me black dudeen,I'd like to say in a general way,
  • 563.  
    “The aristocratic ne'er-do-well in Canada frequently finds his way
    into the ranks of the Royal North-West Mounted Police.”-Extract.
  • 564.  
    She lay like a saint on her copper couch;
    Like an angel asleep she lay,In the stare of the ghoulish folks that slouch
  • 565.  
    When Jack took Nell into his arms
    He knew he acted ill,And thought as he enjoyed her charms
  • 566.  
    What was the blackest sight to me
    Of all that campaign?A naked woman tied to a tree
  • 567.  
    Up in my garret bleak and bare
    I tilted back on my broken chair,And my three old pals were with me there,
  • 568.  
    Because my overcoat's in pawn,
    I choose to take my glassWithin a little bistro on
  • 569.  
    I'm crawlin' out in the mangolds to bury wot's left o' Joe-
    Joe, my pal, and a good un (God! ‘ow it rains and rains).I'm sick o' seein' him lyin' like a ‘eap o' offal, and so
  • 570.  
    In the wilds of Madagascar, Dwelt a Boola-boola maid;
    For her hand young men would ask her, But she always was afraid.Oh that Boola-boola maid She was living in the shade Of a spreading Yum-yum tree;
  • 571.  
    A little child was sitting Up on her mother's knee
    And down down her cheeks the bitter tears did flow.And as I sadly listened I heard this tender plea,
  • 572.  
    Six bulls I saw as black as jet,
    With crimsoned horns and amber eyesThat chewed their cud without a fret,
  • 573.  
    Father drank himself to death,-
    Quite enjoyed it.Urged to draw a sober breath
  • 574.  
    (France, August first, 1914)

  • 575.  
    Have you gazed on naked grandeur where there's nothing else to gaze on,
    Set pieces and drop-curtain scenes galore,Big mountains heaved to heaven, which the blinding sunsets blazon,
  • 576.  
    You never saw a cat with wings,
    I'll bet a dollar-well, I did;'Twas one of those fantastic things
  • 577.  
    Great Grandfather was ninety-nine
    And so it was our one dread,That though his health was superfine
  • 578.  
    I asked of ancient gaffers three
    The way of their ripe living,And this is what they told to me
  • 579.  
    . . . And then I came to Three ways,
    And each was mine to choose;For all of them were free ways,
  • 580.  
    In the dark and damp of the alley cold,
    Lay the Christmas tree that hadn't been sold;By a shopman dourly thrown outside;
  • 581.  
    As I sat by my baby's bed
    That's open to the sky,There fluttered round and round my head
  • 582.  
    “How good God is to me,” he said;
    “For have I not a mansion tall,With trees and lawns of velvet tread,
  • 583.  
    Fat lady, in your four-wheeled chair,
    Dolled up to beat the band,At me you arrogantly stare
  • 584.  
    . . . So I walked among the willows very quietly all night;
    There was no moon at all, at all; no timid star alight;There was no light at all, at all; I wint from tree to tree,
  • 585.  
    ‘Ave you seen Bill's mug in the Noos to-day?
    ‘E's gyned the Victoriar Cross, they say;Little Bill wot would grizzle and run away,
  • 586.  
    The clover was in blossom, an' the year was at the June,
    When Flap-jack Billy hit the town, likewise O'Flynn's saloon.The frost was on the fodder an' the wind was growin' keen,
  • 587.  
    There are strange things done in the midnight sun
    By the men who moil for gold;The Arctic trails have their secret tales
  • 588.  
    No lyric line I ever penned
    The praise this parasitic bird;And what is more, I don't intend
  • 589.  
    My days are haunted by the thought
    Of men in coils of Justice caughtWith stone and steel, in chain and cell,
  • 590.  
    In stilly grove beside the sea
    He mingles colours, measures space;A bronze and breezy man is he,
  • 591.  
    We're taking Marie Toro to her home in Père-La-Chaise;
    We're taking Marie Toro to her last resting-place.Behold! her hearse is hung with wreaths till everything is hid
  • 592.  
    Said she: ‘Although my husband Jim
    Is with his home content,I never should have married him,
  • 593.  
    Think not because you raise
    A gleaming sword,That you will win to praise
  • 594.  
    Said Will: “I'll stay and till the land.”
    Said Jack: “I'll sail the sea.”So one went forth kit-bag in hand,
  • 595.  
    The lone man gazed and gazed upon his gold,
    His sweat, his blood, the wage of weary days;But now how sweet, how doubly sweet to hold
  • 596.  
    In Pat Mahoney's booze bazaar the fun was fast and free,
    And Ragtime Billy spanked the baby grand;While caroling a saucy song was Montreal Maree,
  • 597.  
    Life, you've been mighty good to me,
    Yet here's the end of the trail;No more mountain, moor and sea,
  • 598.  
    The Sergeant of a Highland Reg-
    -Iment was drilling of his men;With temper notably on edge
  • 599.  
    I'm dead.
    Officially I'm dead. Their hope is past.How long I stood as missing! Now, at last
  • 600.  
    The Rector met a little lass
    Who led a heifer by a rope.Said he: “Why don't you go to Mass?
Total 831 poems written by Robert Service

Poem of the day

Blue And White
 by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

BLUE is Our Lady—s colour,
White is Our Lord—s.
To-morrow I will wear a knot
Of blue and white cords,
That you may see it, where you ride
Among the flashing swords.

O banner, white and sunny blue,
...

Read complete poem

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