Robert Service Poems

  • 51.  
    Where once with lads I scoffed my beer
    The landlord's lass I've wed.Now I am lord and master here;-
  • 52.  
    I cannot flap a flag
    Or beat a drum;Behind the mob I lag
  • 53.  
    Three score and ten, the psalmist saith,
    And half my course is well-nigh run;I've had my flout at dusty death,
  • 54.  
    When the boys come out from Lac Labiche in the lure of the early Spring,
    To take the pay of the “Hudson's Bay”, as their fathers did before,They are all a-glee for the jamboree, and they make the Landing ring
  • 55.  
    The woes of men beyond my ken
    Mean nothing more to me.Behold my world, and Eden hurled
  • 56.  
    When Aunt Jane died we hunted round,
    And money everywhere we found.How much I do not care to say,
  • 57.  
    When I blink sunshine in my eyes
    And hail the amber morn,Before the rosy dew-drop dries
  • 58.  
    My Lady is dancing so lightly,
    The belle of the Embassy Ball;I lied as I kissed her politely,
  • 59.  
    From torrid heat to frigid cold
    I've rovered land and sea;And now, with halting heart I hold
  • 60.  
    I bought my little grandchild Ann
    A bright balloon,And I was such a happy man
  • 61.  
    I much admire, I must admit,
    The man who robs a Bank;It takes a lot of guts and grit,
  • 62.  
    At dawn of day the white land lay all gruesome-like and grim,
    When Bill Mc'Gee he says to me: “We've got to do it, Jim.We've got to make Fort Liard quick. I know the river's bad,
  • 63.  
    The night before I left Milan
    A mob jammed the Cathedral Square,And high the tide of passion ran
  • 64.  
    The very skies wee black with shame,
    As near my moment drew;The very hour before you cam
  • 65.  
    When I have come with happy heart to sixty years and ten,
    I'll buy a boat and sail away upon a summer sea;And in a little lonely isle that's far and far from men,
  • 66.  
    But yesterday I banked on fistic fame,
    Figgerin' I'd be a champion of the Ring.Today I've half a mind to quit the Game,
  • 67.  
    He stared at me with sad, hurt eyes,
    That drab, untidy man;And though my clients I despise
  • 68.  
    The songs I made from joy of earth
    In wanton wandering,Are rapturous with Maytime mirth
  • 69.  
    To buy for school a copy-book
    I asked my Dad for two-pence;He gave it with a gentle look,
  • 70.  
    Franklin fathered bastards fourteen,
    (So I read in the New Yorker);If it's true, in terms of courtin'
  • 71.  
    Says I to my Missis: “Ba goom, lass! you've something I see, on your mind.”
    Says she: “You are right, Sam, I've something. It ‘appens it's on me be'ind.A Boil as ‘ud make Job jealous. It ‘urts me no end when I sit.”
  • 72.  
    The poppies gleamed like bloody pools through cotton-woolly mist;
    The Captain kept a-lookin' at the watch upon his wrist;And there we smoked and squatted, as we watched the shrapnel flame;
  • 73.  
    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,
  • 74.  
    I never thought that Bill could say
    A proper prayer;'Twas more in his hard-bitten way
  • 75.  
    When I was brash and gallant-gay
    Just fifty years ago,I hit the ties and beat my way
  • 76.  
    The daughter of the village Maire
    Is very fresh and very fair, A dazzling eyeful;
  • 77.  
    Between the cliff-rise and the beach
    A slip of emerald I own;With fig and olive, almond, peach,
  • 78.  
    In Wall Street once a potent power,
    And now a multi-millionaireAlone within a shady bower
  • 79.  
    Of bosom friends I've had but seven,
    Despite my years are ripe;I hope they're now enjoying Heaven,
  • 80.  
    (16th January 1949)

  • 81.  
    Let us have birthdays every day,
    (I had the thought while I was shaving)Because a birthday should be gay,
  • 82.  
    The mule-skinner was Bill Jerome, the passengers were three;
    Two tinhorns from the dives of Nome, and Father Tim McGee.And as for sunny Southland bound, through weary woods they sped,
  • 83.  
    I wonder ‘oo and wot ‘e was,
    That ‘Un I got so slick.I couldn't see ‘is face because
  • 84.  
    I am a mild man, you'll agree,
    But red my rage is,When folks who borrow books from me
  • 85.  
    I keep collecting books I know
    I'll never, never read;My wife and daughter tell me so,
  • 86.  
    I like to think that when I fall,
    A rain-drop in Death's shoreless sea,This shelf of books along the wall,
  • 87.  
    Behold! I'm old; my hair is white;
    My eighty years are in the offing,And sitting by the fire to-night
  • 88.  
    She phoned them when the Round was Eight:
    ‘How is my Joe?' they heard her say.They answered: ‘Gee! He's going great,
  • 89.  
    Elisabeth imagines I've
    A yellow streakShe deems I have no dash and drive,
  • 90.  
    One spoke: “Come, let us gaily go
    With laughter, love and lust,Since in a century or so
  • 91.  
    Of all the meals that glad my day
    My morning one's the best;Purveyed me on a silver tray,
  • 92.  
    I draw sweet air
    Deeply and long,As pure as prayer,
  • 93.  
    A Wintertide we had been wed
    When Jan went off to sea;And now the laurel rose is red
  • 94.  
    My brother Jim's a millionaire,
    while I have scarce a penny;His face is creased with lines of care,
  • 95.  

  • 96.  
    If dogs could speak, O Mademoiselle,
    What funny stories they could tell!For instance, take your little “peke,”
  • 97.  
    O meadow lark, so wild and free,
    It cannot be, it cannot be,That men to merchandise your spell
  • 98.  
    A mattock high he swung;
    I watched him at his toil;With never gulp of lung
  • 99.  
    I knew three sisters,-all were sweet;
    Wishful to wed was I,And wondered which would mostly meet
  • 100.  
    It's easy to fight when everything's right,
    And you're mad with the thrill and the glory;It's easy to cheer when victory's near,
Total 831 poems written by Robert Service

Poem of the day

Two Songs For Solitude: The Solitary
 by Sara Teasdale

Let them think I love them more than I do,
Let them think I care, though I go alone,
If it lifts their pride, what is it to me
Who am self-complete as a flower or a stone?

It is one to me that they come or go
If I have myself and the drive of my will,
And strength to climb on a summer night

Read complete poem

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