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 We've finished up the filthy war;
We've won what we were fighting for .
(Or have we? I don't know).
But anyway I have my wish: I'm back upon the old Boul' Mich', And how my heart's aglow! Though in my coat's an empty sleeve, Ah! do not think I ever grieve (The pension for it, I believe, Will keep me on the go).
So I'll be free to write and write, And give my soul to sheer delight, Till joy is almost pain; To stand aloof and watch the throng, And worship youth and sing my song Of faith and hope again; To seek for beauty everywhere, To make each day a living prayer That life may not be vain.
To sing of things that comfort me, The joy in mother-eyes, the glee Of little ones at play; The blessed gentleness of trees, Of old men dreaming at their ease Soft afternoons away; Of violets and swallows' wings, Of wondrous, ordinary things In words of every day.
To rhyme of rich and rainy nights, When like a legion leap the lights And take the town with gold; Of taverns quaint where poets dream, Of cafes gaudily agleam, And vice that's overbold; Of crystal shimmer, silver sheen, Of soft and soothing nicotine, Of wine that's rich and old, Of gutters, chimney-tops and stars, Of apple-carts and motor-cars, The sordid and sublime; Of wealth and misery that meet In every great and little street, Of glory and of grime; Of all the living tide that flows -- From princes down to puppet shows -- I'll make my humble rhyme.
So if you like the sort of thing Of which I also like to sing, Just give my stuff a look; And if you don't, no harm is done -- In writing it I've had my fun; Good luck to you and every one -- And so Here ends my book.

by Robert William Service
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