Robert Service Poems

  • 401.  
    Blind Peter Piper used to play
    All up and down the city;I'd often meet him on my way,
  • 402.  
    Mumsie and Dad are raven dark
    And I am lily blonde.‘'Tis strange,' I once heard nurse remark,
  • 403.  
    My garden robin in the Spring
    Was rapturous with glee,And followed me with wistful wing
  • 404.  
    Nurse, won't you let him in?
    He's barkin' an' scratchen' the door,Makin' so dreffel a din
  • 405.  
    The English and the French were met
    Upon the field of future battle;The foes were formidably set
  • 406.  
    My garden hath a slender path
    With ivy overgrown,A secret place where once would pace
  • 407.  
    They asked the Bard of Ayr to dine;
    The banquet hall was fit and fine, With gracing it a Lord;
  • 408.  
    I own a gorgeous Cadillac,
    A chauffeur garbed in blue;And as I sit behind his back
  • 409.  
    I greet the challenge of the dawn
    With weary, bleary eyes;Into the sky so ashen wan
  • 410.  
    Because I love the soothing weed
    And am of sober type,I'd choose me for a friend in need
  • 411.  
    For oh, when the war will be over
    We'll go and we'll look for our dead;We'll go when the bee's on the clover,
  • 412.  
    There were twin artists A. and B.
    Who painted pictures two,And hung them in my galley
  • 413.  
    My destiny it is tonight
    To sit with pensive browBeside my study fire and write
  • 414.  
    If I could practise what I preach,
    Of fellows there would few be finer;If I were true to what I teach
  • 415.  
    Pedlar's coming down the street,
    Housewives beat a swift retreat.Don't you answer to the bell;
  • 416.  
    God's truth! these be the bitter times.
    In vain I sing my sheaf of rhymes,And hold my battered hat for dimes.
  • 417.  
    Mother focused with a frown
    The part of me where I sit down.Said she: “Your pants are wearing through;
  • 418.  
    Lolling on a bank of thyme
    Drunk with Spring I made this rhyme. . . .
  • 419.  
    All day long when the shells sail over
    I stand at the sandbags and take my chance;But at night, at night I'm a reckless rover,
  • 420.  
    A pote is sure a goofy guy;
    He ain't got guts like you or I To tell the score;
  • 421.  
    “Flowers, only flowers-bring me dainty posies,
    Blossoms for forgetfulness,” that was all he said;So we sacked our gardens, violets and roses,
  • 422.  
    “Give me my daily bread.
    It seems so odd,When all is done and said,
  • 423.  
    Full fifty merry maids I heard
    One summer morn a-singing;And each was like a joyous bird
  • 424.  
    We brought him in from between the lines: we'd better have let him lie;
    For what's the use of risking one's skin for a tyke that's going to die?What's the use of tearing him loose under a gruelling fire,
  • 425.  
    O God, take the sun from the sky!
    It's burning me, scorching me up.God, can't You hear my cry?
  • 426.  
    Oh, it's pleasant sitting here,
    Seeing all the people pass;You beside your bock of beer,
  • 427.  
    What man has not betrayed
    Some sacred trust?If haply you are made
  • 428.  
    I was Mojeska's leading man
    And famous parts I used to play,But now I do the best I can
  • 429.  
    The harridan who holds the inn
    At which I toss a pot,Is old and uglier than sin,-
  • 430.  
    Oh Maggie, do you mind the day
    We went to school together,And as we stoppit by the way
  • 431.  
    Is it because I'm bent and grey,
    Though wearing rather well,That I can slickly get away
  • 432.  
    For five and twenty years I've run
    A famous train;But now my spell of speed is done,
  • 433.  
    Our cowman, old Ed, hadn't much in his head,
    And lots of folks though him a witling;But he wasn't a fool, for he always kept cool,
  • 434.  
    He dreamed away his hours in school;
    He sat with such an absent air,The master reckoned him a fool,
  • 435.  
    I had a friend, a breezy friend
    I liked an awful lot;And in his company no end
  • 436.  
    Of garden truck he made his fare,
    As his bright eyes bore witness;Health was his habit and his care,
  • 437.  
    A bonny bird I found today
    Mired in a melt of tar;Its silky breast was silver-grey,
  • 438.  
    I guess folks think I'm mighty dumb
    Since Jack and Jim and JoeHave hit the trail to Kingdom Come
  • 439.  
    Oh, it is good to drink and sup,
    And then beside the kindly fireTo smoke and heap the faggots up,
  • 440.  
    With belly like a poisoned pup
    Said I: ‘I must give bacon up:And also, I profanely fear,
  • 441.  
    I told a truth, a tragic truth
    That tore the sullen sky;A million shuddered at my sooth
  • 442.  
    Zut! it's two o'clock.
    See! the lights are jumping.Finish up your bock,
  • 443.  
    I could have sold him up because
    His rent was long past due;And Grimes, my lawyer, said it was
  • 444.  
    To be a bony feed Sourdough
    You must, by Yukon Law,Have killed a moose,
  • 445.  
    A prisoner speaks:

  • 446.  
    The Porch was blazoned with geranium bloom;
    Myrtle and jasmine meadows lit the lea;With rose and violet the vale's perfume
  • 447.  
    Said the Door: “She came in
    With no shadow of sin;Turned the key in the lock,
  • 448.  
    It's cruel cold on the water-front, silent and dark and drear;
    Only the black tide weltering, only the hissing snow;And I, alone, like a storm-tossed wreck, on this night of the glad New Year,
  • 449.  
    My neighbour has a field of wheat
    And I a rood of vine;And he will give me bread to eat,
  • 450.  
    When I attended Mass today
    A coloured maid sat down by me,And as I watched her kneel and pray,
Total 831 poems written by Robert Service

Poem of the day

The Celebes
 by John Boyle O'Reilly

DEAR islands of the Orient,
Where Nature's first of love was spent;
Sweet hill-tops of the summered land
Where gods and men went hand in hand
In golden days of sinless earth!
Woe rack the womb of time, that bore
The primal evil to its birth!
It came; the gods were seen no more:
...

Read complete poem

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