Robert Service Poems

  • 251.  
    As I sat by my baby's bed
    That's open to the sky,There fluttered round and round my head
  • 252.  
    In the dark and damp of the alley cold,
    Lay the Christmas tree that hadn't been sold;By a shopman dourly thrown outside;
  • 253.  
    . . . And then I came to Three ways,
    And each was mine to choose;For all of them were free ways,
  • 254.  
    I asked of ancient gaffers three
    The way of their ripe living,And this is what they told to me
  • 255.  
    Great Grandfather was ninety-nine
    And so it was our one dread,That though his health was superfine
  • 256.  
    You never saw a cat with wings,
    I'll bet a dollar-well, I did;'Twas one of those fantastic things
  • 257.  
    Have you gazed on naked grandeur where there's nothing else to gaze on,
    Set pieces and drop-curtain scenes galore,Big mountains heaved to heaven, which the blinding sunsets blazon,
  • 258.  
    (France, August first, 1914)

  • 259.  
    Father drank himself to death,-
    Quite enjoyed it.Urged to draw a sober breath
  • 260.  
    Six bulls I saw as black as jet,
    With crimsoned horns and amber eyesThat chewed their cud without a fret,
  • 261.  
    A little child was sitting Up on her mother's knee
    And down down her cheeks the bitter tears did flow.And as I sadly listened I heard this tender plea,
  • 262.  
    In the wilds of Madagascar, Dwelt a Boola-boola maid;
    For her hand young men would ask her, But she always was afraid.Oh that Boola-boola maid She was living in the shade Of a spreading Yum-yum tree;
  • 263.  
    I'm crawlin' out in the mangolds to bury wot's left o' Joe-
    Joe, my pal, and a good un (God! ‘ow it rains and rains).I'm sick o' seein' him lyin' like a ‘eap o' offal, and so
  • 264.  
    Because my overcoat's in pawn,
    I choose to take my glassWithin a little bistro on
  • 265.  
    Up in my garret bleak and bare
    I tilted back on my broken chair,And my three old pals were with me there,
  • 266.  
    What was the blackest sight to me
    Of all that campaign?A naked woman tied to a tree
  • 267.  
    When Jack took Nell into his arms
    He knew he acted ill,And thought as he enjoyed her charms
  • 268.  
    She lay like a saint on her copper couch;
    Like an angel asleep she lay,In the stare of the ghoulish folks that slouch
  • 269.  
    “The aristocratic ne'er-do-well in Canada frequently finds his way
    into the ranks of the Royal North-West Mounted Police.”-Extract.
  • 270.  
    Humping it here in the dug-out,
    Sucking me black dudeen,I'd like to say in a general way,
  • 271.  
    Confound all aberrations which
    Make men do foolish things,Like buying bracelets for a bitch,
  • 272.  
    This year an ocean trip I took, and as I am a Scot
    And like to get my money's worth I never missed a meal.In spite of Neptune's nastiness I ate an awful lot,
  • 273.  
    Dames should be doomed to dungeons
    Who masticate raw onions.
  • 274.  
    Upon his way to rob a Bank
    He paused to watch a fire;Though crowds were pressing rank on rank
  • 275.  
    Beyond the Rocking Bridge it lies, the burg of evil fame,
    The huts where hive and swarm and thrive the sisterhood of shame.Through all the night each cabin light goes out and then goes in,
  • 276.  
    One of the Down and Out-that's me. Stare at me well, ay, stare!
    Stare and shrink-say! you wouldn't think that I was a millionaire.Look at my face, it's crimped and gouged-one of them death-mask things;
  • 277.  
    Only a Leather Medal, hanging there on the wall,
    Dingy and frayed and faded, dusty and worn and old;Yet of my humble treasures I value it most of all,
  • 278.  
    To Dawson Town came Percy Brown from London on the Thames.
    A pane of glass was in his eye, and stockings on his stems.Upon the shoulder of his coat a leather pad he wore,
  • 279.  
    'Twas up in a land long famed for gold, where women were far and rare,
    Tellus, the smith, had taken to wife a maiden amazingly fair;Tellus, the brawny worker in iron, hairy and heavy of hand,
  • 280.  

  • 281.  
    You want me to tell you a story, a yarn of the firin' line,
    Of our thin red kharki ‘eroes, out there where the bullets whine;Out there where the bombs are bustin',
  • 282.  
    'Twas in the bleary middle of the hard-boiled Arctic night,
    I was lonesome as a loon, so if you can,Imagine my emotions of amazement and delight
  • 283.  
    “The North has got him.”-Yukonism.

  • 284.  
    This is the tale that was told to me by the man with the crystal eye,
    As I smoked my pipe in the camp-fire light, and the Glories swept the sky;As the Northlights gleamed and curved and streamed, and the bottle of “hooch” was dry.
  • 285.  
    This is the yarn he told me
    As we sat in Casey's Bar, That Rooshun mug who scammed from the jug
  • 286.  
    Said President MacConnachie to Treasurer MacCall:
    “We ought to have a piper for our next Saint Andrew's Ball.Yon squakin' saxophone gives me the syncopated gripes.
  • 287.  
    Now wouldn't you expect to find a man an awful crank
    That's staked out nigh three hundred claims, and every one a blank;That's followed every fool stampede, and seen the rise and fall
  • 288.  
    Now Fireman Flynn met Hank the Finn where lights of Lust-land glow;
    “Let's leave,” says he, “the lousy sea, and give the land a show.I'm fed up to the molar mark with wallopin' the brine;
  • 289.  
    He was an old prospector with a vision bleared and dim.
    He asked me for a grubstake, and the same I gave to him. He hinted of a hidden trove, and when I made so bold
  • 290.  
    You've heard of “Casey at The Bat,”
    And “Casey's Tabble Dote”; But now it's time
  • 291.  
    I took a contract to bury the body of blasphemous Bill MacKie,
    Whenever, wherever or whatsoever the manner of death he die-Whether he die in the light o' day or under the peak-faced moon;
  • 292.  
    When Chewed-ear Jenkins got hitched up to Guinneyveer McGee,
    His flowin' locks, ye recollect, wuz frivolous an' free;But in old Hymen's jack-pot, it's a most amazin' thing,
  • 293.  
    Her little head just topped the window-sill;
    She even mounted on a stool, maybe;She pressed against the pane, as children will,
  • 294.  
    What are you doing here, Tom Thorne, on the white top-knot o' the world,
    Where the wind has the cut of a naked knife and the stars are rapier keen?Hugging a smudgy willow fire, deep in a lynx robe curled,
  • 295.  
    All day with brow of anxious thought
    The dictionary through,Amid a million words he sought
  • 296.  
    Said Jock McBrown to Tam McSmith,
    “A little bet I'm game to take on,That I can scotch this Shakespeare myth
  • 297.  
    Said a monkey unto me:
    “How I'm glad I am not you!See, I swing from tree to tree,
  • 298.  
    Son put a poser up to me
    That made me scratch my head:“God made the whole wide world,” quoth he;
  • 299.  
    Bill has left his house of clay,
    Slammed the door and gone away:How he laughed but yesterday!
  • 300.  
    “This bunch of violets,” he said,
    “Is for my daughter dear.Since that glad morn when she was wed
Total 831 poems written by Robert Service

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Charles Hamilton Sorley Poem
 by Charles Hamilton Sorley

There where the rusty iron lies,
The rooks are cawing all the day.
Perhaps no man, until he dies,
Will understand them, what they say.

The evening makes the sky like clay.
The slow wind waits for night to rise.
The world is half content. But they

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