Jobson Of The Star Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Within a pub that's off the Strand and handy to the barA
With pipe in mouth and mug in hand sat Jobson of the StarA
Come sit ye down ye wond'ring wight and have a yarn says heB
I can't says I because to night I'm off to TripoliB
To Tripoli and Trebizond and Timbuctoo mayhapC
Or any magic name beyond I find upon the mapC
I go errant trail to try to clutch the skirts of ChanceD
To make once more before I die the gesture of RomanceD
The Jobson yawned above his jug and rumbled Is that soE
Well anyway sit down you mug and have a drink before you goE
Now Jobson is a chum of mine and in a dusty denF
Within the street that's known as Fleet he wields a wicked penF
And every night it's his delight above the fleeting showE
To castigate the living Great and keep the lowly lowE
And all there is to know he knows for unto him is spurredG
The knowledge of the knowledge of the Thing That Has OccurredG
And all that is to hear he hears for to his ear is whirledH
The echo of the echo of the Sound That Shocks The WorldH
Let Revolutions rage and rend and Kingdoms rise and fallI
There Jobson sits and smokes and spits and writes about it allI
And so we jawed a little while on matters small and greatJ
He told me his cynic smile of graves affairs of stateJ
Of princes peers and presidents and folks beyond my kenF
He spoke as you and I might speak of ordinary menF
For Jobson is a scribe of worth and has respect for noneK
And all the mighty ones of earth are targets for his funK
So when I said good bye says he with his satyric leerA
Too bad to go when life is so damned interesting hereA
The Government rides for a fall and things are getting hotL
You'd better stick around old pal you'll miss an awful lotL
Yet still I went and wandered far by secret ways and wideM
Adventure was the shining star I took to be my guideM
For fifty moons I followed on and every moon was sweetN
And lit as if for me alone the trail before my feetN
From cities desolate with doom my moons swam up and setO
On tower and temple tent and tomb on mosque and minaretO
To heights that hailed the dawn I scaled by cliff and chasm sheerA
To far Cathy I found my way and fabolous KashmirA
From camel back I traced the track that bars the barren bledP
And leads to hell and blazes and I followed where it ledP
Like emeralds in sapphire set and ripe for human rapeC
I passed with passionate regret the Islands of EscapeC
With death I clinched a time or two and gave the brute a fallI
Hunger and cold and thirst I knew yet how I loved it allI
Then suddenly I seemed to tire of trecking up and townQ
And longed for some domestic fire and sailed for London TownQ
And in a pub that's off the Strand and handy to the barA
With pipe in mouth and mug in hand sat Jobson of the StarA
Hullo says he come take a pew and tell me where you've beenR
It seems to me that lately you have vanished from the sceneS
I've been says I to Kordovan and Kong and CalabarA
To Sarawak and Samarkand to Ghat and BolivarA
To Caracas and Guayaquil to Lhasa and PekinK
To Brahmapurta and Brazil to Bagdad and BeninR
I've sailed the Black Sea and the White The Yellow and the RedP
The Sula and the Celebes the Bering and the DeadP
I've climbed on Chimborazo and I've wandered in PeruA
I've camped on Kinchinjunga and I've crossed the Great KarooA
I've drifted on the Hoang ho the Nile and AmazonT
I've swam the Tiber and the Po thus I was going onT
When Jobson yawned above his beer and rumbled Is that soE
It's been so damned exciting here too bad you had to goE
We've had the devil of a slump the market's gone to potL
You should have stuck around you chump you've missed an awful lotL
In haggard lands where ages brood on plains burnt out and dimU
I broke the bread of brotherhood with ruthless men and grimU
By ways untrod I walked with God by parched and bitter pathV
In deserts dim I talked with Him and learned to know His WrathV
But in a pub that's off the Strand sits Jobson every nightW
And tells me what a fool I am and maybe he is rightW
For Jobson is a man of stamp and proud of him am IX
And I am just a bloody tramp and will be till I dieX

Robert Service


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