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Domestic Scene



The meal was o'er, the lamp was lit,
The family sat in its glow;
The Mother never ceased to knit,
The Daughter never slacked to sew;
The Father read his evening news,
The Son was playing solitaire:
If peace a happy home could choose
I'm sure you'd swear that it was there.

BUT

The Mother:

"Ah me! this hard lump in my breast . . .
Old Doctor Brown I went to see;
Because it don't give me no rest,
He fears it may malignant be.
To operate it might be well,
And keep the evil of awhile;
But oh the folks I dare not tell,
And so I sit and knit and smile."

The Father:

"The mortgage on the house is due,
My bank account is overdrawn;
I'm at my wits end what to do -
I've plunged, but now my hope is gone.
For coverage my brokers call,
But I'm so deeply in the red . . .
If ever I should lose my all,
I'll put a bullet in my head."

The Daughter:

"To smile I do the best I can,
But it's so hard to act up gay.
My lover is a married man,
And now his child is on the way.
My plight I cannot long conceal,
And though I bear their bitter blame,
Unto my dears I must reveal
My sin, my sorrow and my shame."

The Son:

"Being a teller in a Bank
I'd no right in a blackjack game.
But for my ruin I must thank
My folly for a floozie dame.
To face the Manager I quail;
If he should check my cash I'm sunk . . .
Before they throw me into gaol
I guess I'd better do a bunk."

So sat they in the Winter eve
In sweet serenity becalmed,
So peaceful you could scarce believe
They shared the torments of the damned . . .
Yet there the Mother smiles and knits;
The Daughter sews white underwear;
The Father reads and smokes and spits,
While Sonny Boy plays solitaire.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:43 min read
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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…

All Robert William Service poems | Robert William Service Books

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    "Domestic Scene" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 26 Jun 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/32082/domestic-scene>.

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