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Poet And Peer



They asked the Bard of Ayr to dine;
The banquet hall was fit and fine,
With gracing it a Lord;
The poet came; his face was grim
To find the place reserved for him
Was at the butler's board.

So when the gentry called him in,
He entered with a knavish grin
And sipped a glass of wine;
But when they asked would he recite
Something of late he'd chanced to write
He ettled to decline.

Then with a sly, sardonic look
He opened up a little book
Containing many a gem;
And as they sat in raiment fine,
So smug and soused with rosy wine,
This verse he read to them.

'You see yon birkie caw'ed a Lord,
Who struts and stares an' a' that,
Though hundreds worship at his word
He's but a coof for a' that.
For a' that and a' that,
A man's a man for a' that.

He pointed at that portly Grace
Who glared with apoplectic face,
While others stared with gloom;
Then having paid them all he owed,
Burns, Bard of Homespun, smiled and strode
Superbly from the room.

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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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