Robert Service Poems

  • 151.  
    He asked the lady in the train
    If he might smoke: she smiled consent.So lighting his cigar and fain
  • 152.  
    The portrait there above my bed
    They tell me is a work of art;My Wife,-since twenty years she's dead:
  • 153.  
    We sleep in the sleep of ages, the bleak, barbarian pines;
    The gray moss drapes us like sages, and closer we lock our lines,And deeper we clutch through the gelid gloom where never a sunbeam shines.
  • 154.  
    Something's wrong in Pigeon-land;
    'Tisn't as it used to be,When the pilgrim, corn in hand,
  • 155.  
    They say that Monte Carlo is
    A sunny place for shady people;But I'm not in the gambling biz,
  • 156.  
    She was a Philistine spick and span,
    He was a bold Bohemian.She had the mode, and the last at that;
  • 157.  
    Oh, have you forgotten those afternoons
    With riot of roses and amber skies,When we thrilled to the joy of a million Junes,
  • 158.  
    “Sow your wild oats in your youth,” so we're always told;
    But I say with deeper sooth: “Sow them when you're old.”I'll be wise till I'm about seventy or so:
  • 159.  
    A pencil, sir; a penny-won't you buy?
    I'm cold and wet and tired, a sorry plight;Don't turn your back, sir; take one just to try;
  • 160.  
    My glass is filled, my pipe is lit,
    My den is all a cosy glow;And snug before the fire I sit,
  • 161.  
    Sky's a-waxin' grey,
    Got to be a-goin';Gittin' on my way,
  • 162.  
    This is the song of the parson's son, as he squats in his shack alone,
    On the wild, weird nights, when the Northern Lights shoot up from the frozen zone,And it's sixty below, and couched in the snow the hungry huskies moan:
  • 163.  
    Grimy men with picks and shovels
    Who in darkness sweat unseen,Climb from out your lousy hovels,
  • 164.  
    A wild and woeful race he ran
    Of lust and sin by land and sea;Until, abhorred of God and man,
  • 165.  
    “Gather around me, children dear;
    The wind is high and the night is cold;Closer, little ones, snuggle near;
  • 166.  
    If you and I should chance to meet,
    I guess you wouldn't care;I'm sure you'd pass me in the street
  • 167.  
    Little Annabelle to please,
    (Lacking grace, I grant),Grandpa down on hands and knees
  • 168.  
    In all the pubs from Troon to Ayr
    Grandfather's father would repairWith Bobby Burns, a drouthy pair,
  • 169.  
    Oh bear with me, for I am old
    And count on fingers fiveThe years this pencil I may hold
  • 170.  
    Me and Ed and a stretcher
    Out on the nootral ground.(If there's one dead corpse, I'll betcher
  • 171.  
    On the ragged edge of the world I'll roam,
    And the home of the wolf shall be my home,And a bunch of bones on the boundless snows
  • 172.  
    For supper we had curried tripe.
    I washed the dishes, wound the clock;Then for awhile I smoked my pipe-
  • 173.  
    I look into the aching womb of night;
    I look across the mist that masks the dead;The moon is tired and gives but little light,
  • 174.  
    I know a mountain thrilling to the stars,
    Peerless and pure, and pinnacled with snow;Glimpsing the golden dawn o'er coral bars,
  • 175.  
    There will be a singing in your heart,
    There will be a rapture in your eyes;You will be a woman set apart,
  • 176.  
    When we might make with happy heart
    This world a paradise,With bombs we blast brave men apart,
  • 177.  
    Said he: “I'll dive deep in the Past,
    And write a book of direful daysWhen summer skies were overcast
  • 178.  
    To visit the Escurial
    We took a motor bus,And there a guide mercurial
  • 179.  
    There's a race of men that don't fit in,
    A race that can't stay still;So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
  • 180.  
    The cruel war was over-oh, the triumph was so sweet!
    We watched the troops returning, through our tears;There was triumph, triumph, triumph down the scarlet glittering street,
  • 181.  
    The Dreamer visioned Life as it might be,
    And from his dream forthright a picture grew,A painting all the people thronged to see,
  • 182.  
    He's the man from Eldorado, and he's just arrived in town,
    In moccasins and oily buckskin shirt.He's gaunt as any Indian, and pretty nigh as brown;
  • 183.  
    “You're bloody right-I was a Red,”
    The Man from Cook's morosely said.And if our chaps had won the War
  • 184.  
    Oh the wife she tried to tell me that 'twas nothing but the thrumming
    Of a wood-pecker a-rapping on the hollow of a tree;And she thought that I was fooling when I said it was the drumming
  • 185.  
    Italian people peaceful are,-
    Let it be to their credit.They mostly fail to win a war,
  • 186.  
    There's a cry from out the loneliness-oh, listen, Honey, listen!
    Do you hear it, do you fear it, you're a-holding of me so?You're a-sobbing in your sleep, dear, and your lashes, how they glisten-
  • 187.  
    Jack would laugh an' joke all day;
    Never saw a lad so gay;Singin' like a medder lark,
  • 188.  
    This is the pay-day up at the mines, when the bearded brutes come down;
    There's money to burn in the streets to-night, so I've sent my klooch to town,With a haggard face and a ribband of red entwined in her hair of brown.
  • 189.  
    “Young fellow, listen to a friend:
    Beware of wedlock-'tis a gamble,It's MAN who holds the losing end
  • 190.  
    “And when I come to die,” he said,
    “Ye shall not lay me out in state,Nor leave your laurels at my head,
  • 191.  
    Ye who know the Lone Trail fain would follow it,
    Though it lead to glory or the darkness of the pit.Ye who take the Lone Trail, bid your love good-by;
  • 192.  
    In the moonless, misty night, with my little pipe alight,
    I am sitting by the camp-fire's fading cheer;Oh, the dew is falling chill on the dim, deer-haunted hill,
  • 193.  
    From out her shabby rain-coat pocket
    The little Jew girl in the trainProduced a dinted silver locket
  • 194.  
    Since I have come to years sedate
    I see with more and more acumenThe bitter irony of Fate,
  • 195.  
    (The French “Tommy”).

  • 196.  
    When a man gits on his uppers in a hard-pan sort of town,
    An' he ain't got nothin' comin' an' he can't afford ter eat,An' he's in a fix for lodgin' an' he wanders up an' down,
  • 197.  
    (The Dark Side)

  • 198.  
    I've learned-Of all the friends I've won
    Dame Nature is the best,And to her like a child I run
  • 199.  
    Having an aged hate of height
    I forced myself to climb the Tower,Yet paused at every second flight
  • 200.  
    This is the law of the Yukon, and ever she makes it plain:
    “Send not your foolish and feeble; send me your strong and your sane-Strong for the red rage of battle; sane for I harry them sore;
Total 831 poems written by Robert Service

Poem of the day

A. E. Housman Poem
With Rue My Heart Is Laden
 by A. E. Housman

With rue my heart is laden
For golden friends I had,
For many a rose-lipt maiden
And many a lightfoot lad.

By brooks too broad for leaping
The lightfoot boys are laid;
The rose-lipt girls are sleeping

Read complete poem

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