Old Codger



Of garden truck he made his fare,
     As his bright eyes bore witness;
Health was his habit and his care,
     His hobby human fitness.
He sang the praise of open sky,
     The gladth of Nature's giving;
And when at last he came to die
     It was of too long living.

He held aloof from hate and strife,
     Drank peace in dreamful doses;
He never voted in his life,
     Loved children, dogs and roses.
Let tyrants romp in gory glee,
     And revolutions roister,
He passed his days as peacefully
     As friar in a cloister.

So fellow sinners, should you choose
     Of doom to be a dodger,
At eighty be a bland recluse
     Like this serene old codger,
Who turned his back on fear and fret,
     And died nigh eighty-seven . . .
His name was--Robert Service: let
     Us hope he went to Heaven

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 20, 2023

42 sec read
141

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABABCDCD EXEXFGFG XGXAHIHI
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 783
Words 141
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 8, 8, 8

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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