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Robert William Service Short Poems

Famous Short Robert William Service Poems. Short poetry by famous poet Robert William Service. A collection of the all-time best Robert William Service short poems


by Robert William Service
 God's truth! these be the bitter times.
In vain I sing my sheaf of rhymes, And hold my battered hat for dimes.
And then a copper collars me, Barking: "It's begging that you be; Come on, dad; you're in custody.
" And then the Beak looks down and says: "Sheer doggerel I deem your lays: I send you down for seven days.
" So for the week I won't disturb The peace by singing at the curb.
I don't mind that, but oh it's hell To have my verse called doggerel.



by Robert William Service
 Just think! some night the stars will gleam
 Upon a cold, grey stone,
And trace a name with silver beam,
 And lo! 'twill be your own.
That night is speeding on to greet Your epitaphic rhyme.
Your life is but a little beat Within the heart of Time.
A little gain, a little pain, A laugh, lest you may moan; A little blame, a little fame, A star-gleam on a stone.

by Robert William Service
 When I was daft (as urchins are),
And full if fairy lore,
I aimed an arrow at a star
And hit - the barnyard door.
I've shot at heaps of stars since then, but always it's the same - A barnyard door has mocked me when Uranus was my aim.
So, I'll shoot starward as of yore, Though wide my arrows fall; I'd rather hit a big barn door Then never aim at all.

by Robert William Service
 I scanned two lines with some surmise
As over Keats I chanced to pore:
'And there I shut her wild, wild eyes
 With kisses four.
' Says I: 'Why was it only four, Not five or six or seven? I think I would have made it more,-- Even eleven.
'Gee! If she'd lured a guy like me Into her gelid grot I'd make that Belle Dame sans Merci Sure kiss a lot.
'Them poets have their little tricks; I think John counted kisses for, Not two or three or five or six To rhyme with "sore.
"'

by Robert William Service
 My Father Christmas passed away
When I was barely seven.
At twenty-one, alack-a-day, I lost my hope of heaven.
Yet not in either lies the curse: The hell of it's because I don't know which loss hurt the worse -- My God or Santa Claus.

by Robert William Service
 Think not because you raise
 A gleaming sword,
That you will win to praise
 Before the Lord.
And though men hail you great Unto the skies, Deem not 'twill ope' the gate Of Paradise.
Though you have gold and gear And fame and power, What odds when you draw near The Judgement Hour? But if in bloody dust Yet unafraid You battle for the Just With broken blade-- Then will the Lord look down With eyes of love, And you shall win a Crown All price above.

by Robert William Service
 Said Jock McBrown to Tam McSmith,
"A little bet I'm game to take on,
That I can scotch this Shakespeare myth
And prove Will just a stoodge for Bacon.
" Said Tam McSmith to Jock McBrown, "Ye gyke, I canna let ye rave on.
See here, I put a shilling down: My betting's on the Bard of Avon.
" Said Jock McBrown to Tam McSmith, "Come on, ye'll pay a braw wee dramlet; Bacon's my bet - the proof herewith .
.
.
He called his greatest hero - HAMlet.
"



by Robert William Service
 Here lyeth one
Who loved the sun;
Who lived with zest,
Whose work was done,
Reward, dear Lord,
Thy weary son:
May he be blest
With peace and rest,
Nor wake again,
 Amen.

by Robert William Service
 The sunshine seeks my little room
To tell me Paris streets are gay;
That children cry the lily bloom
All up and down the leafy way;
That half the town is mad with May,
With flame of flag and boom of bell:
For Carnival is King to-day;
So pen and page, awhile farewell.

by Robert William Service
 No matter how he toil and strive
The fate of every man alive
With luck will be to lie alone,
His empty name cut in a stone.
Grim time the fairest fame will flout, But though his name be blotted out, And he forgotten with his peers, His stone may wear a year of years.
No matter how we sow and reap The end of all is endless sleep; From strife a merciful release, From life the crowning prize of Peace.

by Robert William Service
 I count each day a little life,
 With birth and death complete;
I cloister it from care and strife
 And keep it sane and sweet.
With eager eyes I greet the morn, Exultant as a boy, Knowing that I am newly born To wonder and to joy.
And when the sunset splendours wane And ripe for rest am I, Knowing that I will live again, Exultantly I die.
O that all Life were but a Day Sunny and sweet and sane! And that at Even I might say: "I sleep to wake again.
"

by Robert William Service
 I saw three wounded of the war:
And the first had lost his eyes;
And the second went on wheels and had
No legs below the thighs;
And the face of the third was featureless,
And his mouth ran cornerwise.
So I made a rhyme about each one, And this is how my fancies run.

by Robert William Service
 Up into the sky I stare;
All the little stars I see;
And I know that God is there
O, how lonely He must be!

Me, I laugh and leap all day,
Till my head begins to nod;
He's so great, He cannot play:
I am glad I am not God.
Poor kind God upon His throne, Up there in the sky so blue, Always, always all alone .
.
.
"Please, dear God, I pity You.
"

by Robert William Service
 She phoned them when the Round was Eight:
 'How is my Joe?' they heard her say.
They answered: 'Gee! He's going great, Your guy's Okay.
' She phoned them when the Round was Nine: 'How is my hero in the fray?' They yelled: 'He leads; he's doing fine,-- Joe's sure Okay.
' She phoned them when the Round was Ten: 'Is it still Okay with my Joe?' Reluctant came the answer then,-- No Ma'am, KAYO.

by Robert William Service
 I draw sweet air
Deeply and long,
As pure as prayer,
As sweet as song.
Where lilies glow And roses wreath, Heart-joy I know Is just to breathe.
Aye, so I think By shore or sea, As deep I drink Of purity.
This brave machine, Bare to the buff, I keep ice-clean, Breath is enough.
From mountain stream To covert cool The world, I deem, Is wonderful; The great, the small, The smooth, the rough, I love it all,-- Breath is enough.

by Robert William Service
 I sought the trails of South and North,
I wandered East and West;
But pride and passion drove me forth
And would not let me rest.
And still I seek, as still I roam, A snug roof overhead; Four walls, my own; a quiet home.
.
.
.
"You'll have it -- when you're dead.
"

by Robert William Service
 I am a mild man, you'll agree,
 But red my rage is,
When folks who borrow books from me
 Turn down their pages.
Or when a chap a book I lend, And find he's loaned it Without permission to a friend - As if he owned it.
But worst of all I hate those crooks (May hell-fires burn them!) Who beg the loan of cherished books And don't return them.
My books are tendrils of myself No shears can sever .
.
.
May he who rapes one from its shelf Be damned forever.

by Robert William Service
 As I sat by my baby's bed
That's open to the sky,
There fluttered round and round my head
A radiant butterfly.
And as I wept -- of hearts that ache The saddest in the land -- It left a lily for my sake, And lighted on my hand.
I watched it, oh, so quietly, And though it rose and flew, As if it fain would comfort me It came and came anew.
Now, where my darling lies at rest, I do not dare to sigh, For look! there gleams upon my breast A snow-white butterfly.

by Robert William Service
 I'd rather be the Jester than the Minstrel of the King;
I'd rather jangle cap and bells than twang the stately harp;
I'd rather make his royal ribs with belly-laughter ring,
Than see him sitting in the suds and sulky as a carp.
I'd rather be the Court buffoon than its most high-browed sage: So you who read, take head, take heed, - Ere yet you turn my page.

by Robert William Service
 I gave an eye to save from night
 A babe born blind;
And now with eager semi-sight
 Vast joy I find
To think a child can share with me
 Earth ecstasy!

Delight of dawn with dewy gleam
 On damask rose;
Crimson and gold as pennons stream
 Where sunset flows;
And sight most nigh to paradise,
 Star-studded skies.
Ah! How in old of age I feel, E'er end my days, Could I star-splendoured sky reveal To childish gaze, Not one eye would I give, but two,-- Well, wouldn't you?

by Robert William Service
 He burned a hole in frozen muck,
He pierced the icy mould,
And there in six-foot dirt he struck
A sack or so of gold.
He burned holes in the Decalogue, And then it cam about, For Fortune's just a lousy rogue, His "pocket" petered out.
And lo! 'twas but a year all told, When there in a shadow grim, In six feet deep of icy mould They burned a hole for him.

by Robert William Service
 With peace and rest
And wisdom sage,
Ripeness is best
Of every age.
With hands that fold In pensive prayer, For grave-yard mold Prepare.
From fighting free With fear forgot, Let ripeness be, Before the rot.
With heart of cheer At eighty odd, How man grows near To God! With passion spent And life nigh run Let us repent The ill we've done.
And as we bless With happy heart Life's mellowness --Depart.

Willie  Create an image from this poem
by Robert William Service
 'Why did the lady in the lift
 Slap that poor parson's face?'
Said Mother, thinking as she sniffed,
 Of clerical disgrace.
Said Sonny Boy: 'Alas, I know.
My conscience doth accuse me; The lady stood upon my toe, Yet did not say--"Excuse me!" 'She hurt--and in that crowd confined I scarcely could endure it; So when I pinched her fat behind She thought--it was the Curate.
'

by Robert William Service
 To be a bony feed Sourdough
You must, by Yukon Law,
Have killed a moose,
And robbed a sluice,
AND BUNKED UP WITH A SQUAW.
.
.
.
Alas! Sourdough I'll never be.
Oh, sad is my excuse: My shooting's so damn bad, you see .
.
.
I've never killed a moose.

by Robert William Service
 Since four decades you've been to me
 Both Guide and Friend,
I fondly hope you'll always be,
 Right to the end;
And though my rhymes you rarely scan
 (Oh, small the blame!)
I joy that on this Page I can
 Inscribe your name.