Robert Service Poems

  • 351.  
    I have a house I've lived in long:
    I can't recall my going in.'Twere better bartered for a song
  • 352.  
    A thousand books my library
    Contains;And all are primed, it seems to me
  • 353.  
    My first I wed when just sixteen
    And he was sixty-five.He treated me like any queen
  • 354.  
    I met an ancient man who mushed
    With Peary to the Pole.Said I, “In all that land so hushed
  • 355.  
    Here in the Autumn of my days
    My life is mellowed in a haze.Unpleasant sights are none to clear,
  • 356.  
    'Tis true my garments threadbare are,
    And sorry poor I seem;But inly I am richer far
  • 357.  
    I've got a little job on ‘and, the time is drawin' nigh;
    At seven by the Captain's watch I'm due to go and do it;I wants to ‘ave it nice and neat, and pleasin' to the eye,
  • 358.  
    Like prim Professor of a College
    I primed my shelves with books of knowledge;And now I stand before them dumb,
  • 359.  
    I haled me a woman from the street,
    Shameless, but, oh, so fair!I bade her sit in the model's seat
  • 360.  
    It's slim and trim and bound in blue;
    Its leaves are crisp and edged with gold;Its words are simple, stalwart too;
  • 361.  
    Of Poetry I've been accused,
    But much more often I have not;Oh, I have been so much amused
  • 362.  
    I've been sittin' starin', starin' at ‘is muddy pair of boots,
    And tryin' to convince meself it's ‘im.(Look out there, lad! That sniper-'e's a dysey when ‘e shoots;
  • 363.  
    To rest my fagged brain now and then,
    When wearied of my proper labors,I lay aside my lagging pen
  • 364.  
    I made a picture; all my heart
    I put in it, and all I knewOf canvas-cunning and of Art,
  • 365.  
    I have a tiny piney wood;
    my trees are only fifty,Yet give me shade and solitude
  • 366.  
    We was in a crump-'ole, ‘im and me;
    Fightin' wiv our bayonets was we;Fightin' ‘ard as ‘ell we was,
  • 367.  
    If she met him or he met her,
    I knew that something must occur;For they were just like flint and steel
  • 368.  
    When I am old and worse for wear
    I want to buy a rocking-chair,And set it on a porch where shine
  • 369.  
    I think the things I own and love
    Acquire a sense of me,That gives them value far above
  • 370.  
    I must not let my boy Dick down,
    Knight of the air.With wings of light he won renown
  • 371.  
    I've often wondered why
    Old chaps who choose to dieIn evil passes,
  • 372.  
    I haven't worn my evening dress
    For nearly twenty years;Oh I'm unsocial, I confess,
  • 373.  
    For all good friends who care to read,
    here let me lyre my living creed . . .
  • 374.  
    Of twin daughters I'm the mother-
    Lord! how I was proud of them;Each the image of the other,
  • 375.  
    I used to think a pot of ink
    Held magic in its fluid,And I would ply a pen when I
  • 376.  
    To me at night the stars are vocal.
    They say: ‘Your planet's oh so local!A speck of dust in heaven's ceiling;
  • 377.  
    At dusk I saw a craintive mouse
    That sneaked and stole around the house;At first I took it for a ghost,
  • 378.  
    I've made my Will. I don't believe
    In luxury and wealth;And to those loving ones who grieve
  • 379.  
    In kindergarten classed
    Dislike they knew;And as the years went past
  • 380.  
    To tribulations of mankind
    Dame Nature is indifferent;To human sorrow she is blind,
  • 381.  
    Men have navels more or less;
    Some are neat, some notBeing fat I must confess
  • 382.  
    When I attended Mass today
    A coloured maid sat down by me,And as I watched her kneel and pray,
  • 383.  
    My neighbour has a field of wheat
    And I a rood of vine;And he will give me bread to eat,
  • 384.  
    It's cruel cold on the water-front, silent and dark and drear;
    Only the black tide weltering, only the hissing snow;And I, alone, like a storm-tossed wreck, on this night of the glad New Year,
  • 385.  
    Said the Door: “She came in
    With no shadow of sin;Turned the key in the lock,
  • 386.  
    The Porch was blazoned with geranium bloom;
    Myrtle and jasmine meadows lit the lea;With rose and violet the vale's perfume
  • 387.  
    A prisoner speaks:

  • 388.  
    To be a bony feed Sourdough
    You must, by Yukon Law,Have killed a moose,
  • 389.  
    I could have sold him up because
    His rent was long past due;And Grimes, my lawyer, said it was
  • 390.  
    Zut! it's two o'clock.
    See! the lights are jumping.Finish up your bock,
  • 391.  
    I told a truth, a tragic truth
    That tore the sullen sky;A million shuddered at my sooth
  • 392.  
    With belly like a poisoned pup
    Said I: ‘I must give bacon up:And also, I profanely fear,
  • 393.  
    Oh, it is good to drink and sup,
    And then beside the kindly fireTo smoke and heap the faggots up,
  • 394.  
    I guess folks think I'm mighty dumb
    Since Jack and Jim and JoeHave hit the trail to Kingdom Come
  • 395.  
    A bonny bird I found today
    Mired in a melt of tar;Its silky breast was silver-grey,
  • 396.  
    Of garden truck he made his fare,
    As his bright eyes bore witness;Health was his habit and his care,
  • 397.  
    I had a friend, a breezy friend
    I liked an awful lot;And in his company no end
  • 398.  
    He dreamed away his hours in school;
    He sat with such an absent air,The master reckoned him a fool,
  • 399.  
    Our cowman, old Ed, hadn't much in his head,
    And lots of folks though him a witling;But he wasn't a fool, for he always kept cool,
  • 400.  
    For five and twenty years I've run
    A famous train;But now my spell of speed is done,
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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