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Flight



On silver sand where ripples curled
I counted sea-gulls seven;
Shy, secret screened from all the world,
And innocent as heaven.
They did not of my nearness know,
For dawn was barely bright,
And they were still, like spots of snow
In that pale, pearly light.

Then one went forth unto the sea
That rippled up in gold,
And there were rubies flashing free
From out its wing-unfold;
It ducked and dived in pretty play,
The while the other six
So gravely sat it seemed that they
Were marvelled by its tricks.

Then with a sudden flurry each
Down-rushed to join its mate,
And in a flash that sickle beach
With rapture was elate.
With joy they pranked till everyone
Was diamonded with spray,
Then flicked with flame to greet the sun
They rose and winged away.

But with their going, oh, the surge
Of loss they left in me!
For in my heart was born the urge,
The passion to be free.
And where each dawn with terror brings
Some tale of bale and blight,
Who would not envy silver wings,
The sea-gull in its flight!

Let me not know the soils of woe
That chain this stricken earth;
Let me forget the fear and fret
That bind men from their birth;
Let me be the one with wind and sun,
With earth and sky and sea. . . .
Oh, let me teach in living speech
God's glory - Liberty.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:12 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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    "Flight" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 4 Dec. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/32125/flight>.

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