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Cowardice

Although you deem it far from nice,
  And it perchance may hurt you,
Let me suggest that cowardice
  Can masquerade as virtue;
And many a maid remains a maid
  Because she is afraid.
 
And many a man is chaste because
  He fears the house of sin;
And though before the door he pause,
  He dare not enter in:
So worse than being dissolute
  At home he plays the flute.

And many an old cove such as I
  Is troubled with the jitters,
And being as he's scared to die
  Gives up his gin and bitters;
While dreading stomach ulcers he
  Chucks dinner for high tea.

Well, we are wise. When life begins
  To look so dour and dark
'Tis good to jettison our sins
  And keep afloat the bark:
But don't let us claim lack of vice
  For what's plumb cowardice!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Robert William Service

Robert William Service was a poet and writer sometimes referred to as the Bard of the Yukon He is best-known for his writings on the Canadian North including the poems The Shooting of Dan McGrew The Law of the Yukon and The Cremation of Sam McGee His writing was so expressive that his readers took him for a hard-bitten old Klondike prospector not the later-arriving bank clerk he actually was Robert William Service was born 16 January 1874 in Preston England but also lived in Scotland before emigrating to Canada in 1894 Service went to the Yukon Territory in 1904 as a bank clerk and became famous for his poems about this region which are mostly in his first two books of poetry He wrote quite a bit of prose as well and worked as a reporter for some time but those writings are not nearly as well known as his poems He travelled around the world quite a bit and narrowly escaped from France at the beginning of the Second World War during which time he lived in Hollywood California He died 11 September 1958 in France Incidentally he played himself in a movie called The Spoilers starring John Wayne and Marlene Dietrich more…

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    "Cowardice" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/32061/cowardice>.

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