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The Receptionist

France is the fairest land on earth,
  Lovely to heart's desire,
And twice a year I span its girth,
  Its beauty to admire.
But when a pub I seek each night,
  To my profound vexation
On form they hand me I've to write
  My occupation.

So once in a derisive mood
  My pen I nibbled;
And though I know I never should:
  'Gangster' I scribbled.
But as the clerk with startled face
  Looked stark suspicion,
I blurred it out and in its place
  Put 'Politician.'

Then suddenly dissolved his frown;
  His face fused to a grin,
As humorously he set down
  The form I handed in.
His shrug was eloquent to view.
  Quoth he: 'What's in a name?
In France, alas! the lousy two
  Are just the same.'

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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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    "The Receptionist" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 28 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/32624/the-receptionist>.

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