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Our Hero

"Flowers, only flowers -- bring me dainty posies,
  Blossoms for forgetfulness," that was all he said;
So we sacked our gardens, violets and roses,
  Lilies white and bluebells laid we on his bed.
Soft his pale hands touched them, tenderly caressing;
  Soft into his tired eyes came a little light;
Such a wistful love-look, gentle as a blessing;
  There amid the flowers waited he the night.

"I would have you raise me; I can see the West then:
  I would see the sun set once before I go."
So he lay a-gazing, seemed to be at rest then,
  Quiet as a spirit in the golden glow.
So he lay a-watching rosy castles crumbling,
  Moats of blinding amber, bastions of flame,
Rugged rifts of opal, crimson turrets tumbling;
  So he lay a-dreaming till the shadows came.

"Open wide the window; there's a lark a-singing;
  There's a glad lark singing in the evening sky.
How it's wild with rapture, radiantly winging:
  Oh it's good to hear that when one has to die.
I am horror-haunted from the hell they found me;
  I am battle-broken, all I want is rest.
Ah! It's good to die so, blossoms all around me,
  And a kind lark singing in the golden West.

"Flowers, song and sunshine, just one thing is wanting,
  Just the happy laughter of a little child."
So we brought our dearest, Doris all-enchanting;
  Tenderly he kissed her; radiant he smiled.
"In the golden peace-time you will tell the story
  How for you and yours, sweet, bitter deaths were ours. . . .
God bless little children!" So he passed to glory,
  So we left him sleeping, still amid the flow'rs.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:24 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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    "Our Hero" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 21 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/32350/our-hero>.

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