ROBERT W. SERVICE January 1 1919


ROBERT W. SERVICE January 1 1919



Who wrote “Songs of a Sourdough,” “Rhymes of a Red Cross Man,” etc.

Day after day behold me plying My pen within an office drear; The dullest dog, till homeward hying, I reign a very king of cheer. A throne have I of padded leather; A little court of kiddies three; A wife who smiles whate’er the weather; A feast of muffins, jam and tea.

The table cleared, a romping battle, A fairy taie, a “Children, bed.”

A kiss, a hug, a hush of prattle,

(God bless each little drowsy head!) A cosy chat with wife a-sewing;

A silver-lining clouds that lower; Then she too goes, and with her going I come again into MY HOUR.

I poke the fire, I snugly settle;

My pipe I prime with proper care. The water’s purring in the kettle, Rum, lemon, sugar, all are there.

And now the honest grog is steaming, And nowthe trusty briar’s aglow. . . Alas! in smoking, drinking, dreaming, How sadly swift the moments go!

Oh, golden hour! ’twixt love and duty, All others I to others give;

But you are mine to yield to Beauty, To glean Romance, to greatly live.

For in my easy chair reclining. . .

I feel the sting of ocean spray,

A nd yonder wondrously are shining The Magic Isles of Far Away.

Beyond the comber’s crashing thunder

Strange beaches flash into my ken;

On jetties heaped head-high with plunder

I dance and dice with sailor men.

Strange stars swarm down to burn above me ;

Strange shadows haunt, strange voices greet;

Strange women lure and laugh, and love me,

And fling their tokens at my feet.

Oh 1 `would wish (lie wide world over, In ports of vassion find

In ports of passion and unrest,

To drink and drain, a tarry rover,

With dragons tattooed on my chest;

With haunted eyes that hold red glories Of flaming seas and crashing shores; With lips that tell stupendous stories Of streaming decks and gold mydores.

Till sick of storm and strife and slaughter Some ghostly night when hides the moon I slip into the milk-warm water,

And softly swim the stale lagoon.

Then through some jungle pythonh minted,

Or plumed morass or woodland wild,

I win my way with heart undaunted,

And all the wonder of a child.

7 he pathless plains shall swoon around me;

The forests frown, the floods appall;

The mountains tip-toe to confound me, The rivers roar to speed my fall.

Wild dooms shall daunt, and dawns be gory,

And death shall sit beside my knee,

Till after terror, tbrment, glory,

I win again the Sea, the Sea.

Oh anguish sweet! Oh triumph splendid! Oh dreams, adieu! My pipe is dead. My glass is dry, my Hour is ended, It's time, indeed, I stole to bed. How peacefully the house is sleeping! Ah! why should I strange fortunes plan? To guard the dear ones in my keepingThat's fate enough for any man.

oo though dim seas I II ne’er go spoiling, The red Tortugas never roam,

Please God! I’ll keep, the pot a-boiling, And make at least a happy home.

My children’s path shall gleam with roses Their grace abound, their joy increase. And so my Hour divinely closes With tender thoughts of praise and peace.