Robert Service Poems

  • 751.  
    Let us have birthdays every day,
    (I had the thought while I was shaving)Because a birthday should be gay,
  • 752.  
    (16th January 1949)

  • 753.  
    Of bosom friends I've had but seven,
    Despite my years are ripe;I hope they're now enjoying Heaven,
  • 754.  
    In Wall Street once a potent power,
    And now a multi-millionaireAlone within a shady bower
  • 755.  
    Between the cliff-rise and the beach
    A slip of emerald I own;With fig and olive, almond, peach,
  • 756.  
    The daughter of the village Maire
    Is very fresh and very fair, A dazzling eyeful;
  • 757.  
    When I was brash and gallant-gay
    Just fifty years ago,I hit the ties and beat my way
  • 758.  
    I never thought that Bill could say
    A proper prayer;'Twas more in his hard-bitten way
  • 759.  
    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,
  • 760.  
    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;
  • 761.  
    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.”
  • 762.  
    Franklin fathered bastards fourteen,
    (So I read in the New Yorker);If it's true, in terms of courtin'
  • 763.  
    To buy for school a copy-book
    I asked my Dad for two-pence;He gave it with a gentle look,
  • 764.  
    The songs I made from joy of earth
    In wanton wandering,Are rapturous with Maytime mirth
  • 765.  
    He stared at me with sad, hurt eyes,
    That drab, untidy man;And though my clients I despise
  • 766.  
    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,
  • 767.  
    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,
  • 768.  
    The very skies wee black with shame,
    As near my moment drew;The very hour before you cam
  • 769.  
    The night before I left Milan
    A mob jammed the Cathedral Square,And high the tide of passion ran
  • 770.  
    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,
  • 771.  
    I much admire, I must admit,
    The man who robs a Bank;It takes a lot of guts and grit,
  • 772.  
    I bought my little grandchild Ann
    A bright balloon,And I was such a happy man
  • 773.  
    From torrid heat to frigid cold
    I've rovered land and sea;And now, with halting heart I hold
  • 774.  
    My Lady is dancing so lightly,
    The belle of the Embassy Ball;I lied as I kissed her politely,
  • 775.  
    When I blink sunshine in my eyes
    And hail the amber morn,Before the rosy dew-drop dries
  • 776.  
    When Aunt Jane died we hunted round,
    And money everywhere we found.How much I do not care to say,
  • 777.  
    The woes of men beyond my ken
    Mean nothing more to me.Behold my world, and Eden hurled
  • 778.  
    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
  • 779.  
    Three score and ten, the psalmist saith,
    And half my course is well-nigh run;I've had my flout at dusty death,
  • 780.  
    I cannot flap a flag
    Or beat a drum;Behind the mob I lag
  • 781.  
    Where once with lads I scoffed my beer
    The landlord's lass I've wed.Now I am lord and master here;-
  • 782.  
    The Countess sprawled beside the sea
    As naked a she well could be;Indeed her only garments were
  • 783.  
    As nothingness draws near
    How I can seeInexorably clear
  • 784.  
    When I was daft (as urchins are),
    And full if fairy lore,I aimed an arrow at a star
  • 785.  
    He gave a picture exhibition,
    Hiring a little empty shop.Above its window: FREE ADMISSION
  • 786.  
    Don't jeer because we celebrate
    Armistice Day,Though thirty years of sorry fate
  • 787.  
    A-sitttin' on a cracker box an' spittin' in the stove,
    I took a sudden notion that I'd kindo' like to rove;An' so I bought a ticket, jest as easy as could be,
  • 788.  
    I do not swear because I am
    A sweet and sober guy;I cannot vent a single damn
  • 789.  
    Black ants have made a musty mound
    My purple pine tree under,And I am often to be found,
  • 790.  
    Oh I am neither rich nor poor,
    No worker I dispoil;Yet I am glad to be secure
  • 791.  
    An olive fire's a lovely thing;
    Somehow it makes me think of SpringAs in my grate it over-spills
  • 792.  
    (Retold in Rhyme)

  • 793.  
    Should you preserve white mice in honey
    Don't use imported ones from China,For though they cost you less in money
  • 794.  
    They brought the mighty chief to town;
    They showed him strange, unwonted sights;Yet as he wandered up and down,
  • 795.  
    You see that sheaf of slender books
    Upon the topmost shelf,At which no browser ever looks,
  • 796.  
    He took the grade in second-quite a climb,
    Dizzy and dangerous, yet how sublime!The road went up and up; it curved around
  • 797.  
    Singing larks I saw for sale-
    (Ah! the pain of it)Plucked and ready to impale
  • 798.  
    We bore him to his boneyard lot
    One afternoon at three;The clergyman was on the spot
  • 799.  
    I am a stout materialist;
    With abstract terms I can't agree,And so I've made a little list
  • 800.  
    The chapel looms against the sky,
    Above the vine-clad shelves,And as the peasants pass it by
Total 831 poems written by Robert Service

Poem of the day

A. E. Housman Poem
When Smoke Stood Up From Ludlow
 by A. E. Housman

When smoke stood up from Ludlow,
And mist blew off from Teme,
And blithe afield to ploughing
Against the morning beam
I strode beside my team,

The blackbird in the coppice
Looked out to see me stride,

Read complete poem

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