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The Under-Dogs



What have we done, Oh Lord, that we
Are evil starred?
How have we erred and sinned to be
So scourged and scarred?
Lash us, Oh Lord, with scorpion whips,
We can but run;
But harken to our piteous lips:
What have we done?

How have we sinned to rouse your wrath,
To earn your scorn?
Stony and steep has been our path
Since we were born.
Oh for a sign, a hope, a word,
A heaven glance;
Why is your hand against us, Lord?
Give us a chance.

What shall we do, Oh God, to gain
Your mercy seat?
Shall we live out our lives in pain
And dark defeat?
Shall we in servitude bow low
Unto the end?
How we would hope, could we but know
You are our friend!

We are the disinherited,
The doomed, the lost.
For breath with dust and ashes fed,
We pay the cost.
Dumb mouths! Yet though we bleed, with prayer
We kiss the sword;
Aye, even dying we forbear
To curse Thee, Lord.

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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…

All Robert William Service poems | Robert William Service Books

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    "The Under-Dogs" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 26 May 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/32676/the-under-dogs>.

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