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Village Virtue

Robert William Service 1874 – 1958



Jenny was my first sweetheart;
Poor lass! she was none too smart.
Though I swore she'd never rue it,
She would never let me do it.
When I tried she mad a fuss,
So damn pure and virtuous.
Girls should cozen all they can,
Use their wiles to get their man.

June, my second, was no prude;
Too good-looking to be good;
Wanton and a giddy-gadder,
Never knew who might have had her;
Kept me mad and jumping jealous,
Tempting all the other fellows
Like a wayside flower to pluck her:
So at last I had to chuck her.

Now I'm settled down with Jill,
And we're safely married still.
She began to wail and worry,
So we wedded in a hurry.
Well, it's quite all right that way -
We're all made of common clay,
And the grey-haired folk that bore us
Just as wanton were before us.

June, I hear, now lives in London
Where, I fear, she's sadly undone.
Jenny, still as virtuous
Missed the matrimonial bus,
Where our "first" set gossips buzzin'
Jill and I now have a dozen,
Ready in their turn to prove
There's no chastity in love.

June, so fickle and so fair,
Common was as barber's chair;
Jill provides me with good grub,
Lets me go nights to the pub.
Though her silver hairs are many,
One eve I might call on Jenny . . .
She may not need too much urging:
Must be hell to die a virgin.

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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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