Robert Service Poems

  • 201.  
    If we could roll back History
    A century, let's say,And start from there, I'm sure that we
  • 202.  
    Marie Vaux of the Painted Lips,
    And the mouth so mocking gay,A wanton you to the finger-tips,
  • 203.  
    From wrath-red dawn to wrath-red dawn,
    The guns have brayed without abate;And now the sick sun looks upon
  • 204.  
    Have ever you heard of the Land of Beyond,
    That dreams at the gates of the day?Alluring it lies at the skirts of the skies,
  • 205.  
    The lonely sunsets flare forlorn
    Down valleys dreadly desolate;The lordly mountains soar in scorn
  • 206.  
    “Miss Rosemary,” I dourly said,
    “Our balance verges on the red,We must cut down our overhead.
  • 207.  
    The Junior God looked from his place
    In the conning towers of heaven,And he saw the world through the span of space
  • 208.  
    The Judge looked down, his face was grim,
    He scratched his ear;The gangster's moll looked up at him
  • 209.  
    It's good the great green earth to roam,
    Where sights of awe the soul inspire;But oh, it's best, the coming home,
  • 210.  

  • 211.  
    Oh you who have daring deeds to tell!
    And you who have felt Ambition's spell!Have you heard of the louse who longed to dwell
  • 212.  
    I never could imagine God:
    I don't suppose I ever will.Beside His altar fire I nod
  • 213.  
    They say she speeded wanton wild
    When she was warm with wine;And so she killed a little child,
  • 214.  
    My boy's come back; he's here at last;
    He came home on a special train.My longing and my ache are past,
  • 215.  
    You speak to me, but does your speech
    With truest truth your thought convey?I listen to your words and each
  • 216.  
    The leaves are sick and jaundiced, they
    Drift down the air;December's sky is sodden grey,
  • 217.  
    There where the mighty mountains bare their fangs unto the moon,
    There where the sullen sun-dogs glare in the snow-bright, bitter noon,And the glacier-glutted streams sweep down at the clarion call of June.
  • 218.  
    “Tuberculosis should not be,”
    The old professor said.“If folks would hearken unto me
  • 219.  
    Moko, the Educated Ape is here,
    The pet of vaudeville, so the posters say, And every night the gaping people pay
  • 220.  
    In city shop a hat I saw
    That to my fancy seemed to strike,I gave my wage to buy the straw,
  • 221.  
    There was a woman, and she was wise; woefully wise was she;
    She was old, so old, yet her years all told were but a score and three;And she knew by heart, from finish to start, the Book of Iniquity.
  • 222.  
    Throughout my life I see
    A guiding hand;The pitfalls set for me
  • 223.  
    “Hae ye heard whit ma auld mither's postit tae me?
    It fair maks me hamesick,” says Private McPhee.“And whit did she send ye?” says Private McPhun,
  • 224.  
    I've wearied of so many things
    Adored in youthful days;Music no more my spirit wings,
  • 225.  
    Now Eddie Malone got a swell grammyfone to draw all the trade to his store;
    An' sez he: “Come along for a season of song, which the like ye had niver before.”Then Dogrib, an' Slave, an' Yellow-knife brave, an' Cree in his dinky canoe,
  • 226.  
    My Daddy used to wallop me for every small offense:
    “Its takes a hair-brush back,” said he, “to teach kids common-sense.”And still to-day I scarce can look a hair-brush in the face.
  • 227.  
    Each sunny day upon my way
    A goat I pass;He has a beard of silver grey,
  • 228.  
    Smith, great writer of stories, drank; found it immortalized his pen;
    Fused in his brain-pan, else a blank, heavens of glory now and then;Gave him the magical genius touch; God-given power to gouge out, fling
  • 229.  
    A-sittin' in the Bull and Pump
    With double gins to keep us cheerySays she to me, says Polly Crump”
  • 230.  
    “But it isn't playing the game,” he said,
    And he slammed his books away;“The Latin and Greek I've got in my head
  • 231.  
    Because I have no garden and
    No pence to buy,Before the flower shop I stand
  • 232.  
    The Rector met a little lass
    Who led a heifer by a rope.Said he: “Why don't you go to Mass?
  • 233.  
    I'm dead.
    Officially I'm dead. Their hope is past.How long I stood as missing! Now, at last
  • 234.  
    The Sergeant of a Highland Reg-
    -Iment was drilling of his men;With temper notably on edge
  • 235.  
    Life, you've been mighty good to me,
    Yet here's the end of the trail;No more mountain, moor and sea,
  • 236.  
    In Pat Mahoney's booze bazaar the fun was fast and free,
    And Ragtime Billy spanked the baby grand;While caroling a saucy song was Montreal Maree,
  • 237.  
    The lone man gazed and gazed upon his gold,
    His sweat, his blood, the wage of weary days;But now how sweet, how doubly sweet to hold
  • 238.  
    Said Will: “I'll stay and till the land.”
    Said Jack: “I'll sail the sea.”So one went forth kit-bag in hand,
  • 239.  
    Think not because you raise
    A gleaming sword,That you will win to praise
  • 240.  
    Said she: ‘Although my husband Jim
    Is with his home content,I never should have married him,
  • 241.  
    We're taking Marie Toro to her home in Père-La-Chaise;
    We're taking Marie Toro to her last resting-place.Behold! her hearse is hung with wreaths till everything is hid
  • 242.  
    In stilly grove beside the sea
    He mingles colours, measures space;A bronze and breezy man is he,
  • 243.  
    My days are haunted by the thought
    Of men in coils of Justice caughtWith stone and steel, in chain and cell,
  • 244.  
    No lyric line I ever penned
    The praise this parasitic bird;And what is more, I don't intend
  • 245.  
    There are strange things done in the midnight sun
    By the men who moil for gold;The Arctic trails have their secret tales
  • 246.  
    The clover was in blossom, an' the year was at the June,
    When Flap-jack Billy hit the town, likewise O'Flynn's saloon.The frost was on the fodder an' the wind was growin' keen,
  • 247.  
    ‘Ave you seen Bill's mug in the Noos to-day?
    ‘E's gyned the Victoriar Cross, they say;Little Bill wot would grizzle and run away,
  • 248.  
    . . . So I walked among the willows very quietly all night;
    There was no moon at all, at all; no timid star alight;There was no light at all, at all; I wint from tree to tree,
  • 249.  
    Fat lady, in your four-wheeled chair,
    Dolled up to beat the band,At me you arrogantly stare
  • 250.  
    “How good God is to me,” he said;
    “For have I not a mansion tall,With trees and lawns of velvet tread,
Total 831 poems written by Robert Service

Poem of the day

The Death Of A Soldier
 by Wallace Stevens

Life contracts and death is expected,
As in a season of autumn.
The soldier falls.

He does not become a three-days personage,
Imposing his separation,
Calling for pomp.


Read complete poem

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