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The Locket



From out her shabby rain-coat pocket
The little Jew girl in the train
Produced a dinted silver locket
With pasted in it portraits twain.
"These are my parents, sir" she said;
"Or were, for now I fear they're dead.

"I know to Belsen they were sent;
I never heard of them again.
So many were like that - they went,
Our woeful quest was all in vain.
I was in London with a friend,
Or I, too, would have shared their end.

"They could have got away, I'm told,
And joined me here in Marylebne,
But Grannie was so sick and old,
They could not leave her there alone.
When they were seized she cried and cried:
Thank God! 'Twas in her bed she died.

"How did they die? I cannot bear
To think of that - it crazes me.
My mother was so sweet, so fair;
My father handsome as you see . . .
I'm sure no daughter ever had
More lovely parents . . . Yes, it's sad.

"But for their loss I shall not grieve;
I'll hug the hope they still survive;
Oh, I must make myself believe
Somehow, somewhere they're still alive. . . .

"Well, that's my only souvenir,
A locket stained with many a tear."

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:03 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…

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    "The Locket" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 28 Nov. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/32577/the-locket>.

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