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Yellow

One pearly day in early May I walked upon the sand
And saw, say half a mile away, a man with gun in hand.
A dog was cowering to his will as slow he sought to creep
Upon a dozen ducks so still they seemed to be asleep.

When like a streak the dog dashed out, the ducks flashed up in flight.
The fellow gave a savage shout and cursed with all his might.
Then as I stood somewhat amazed and gazed with eyes agog,
With bitter rage his gun he raised and blazed and shot the dog.

You know how dogs can yelp with pain; its blood soaked in the sand,
And yet it crawled to him again, and tried to lick his hand.
'Forgive me Lord for what I've done,' it seemed as if it said,
But once again he raised his gun -- this time he shot it dead.

What could I do? What could I say? 'Twas such a lonely place.
Tongue-tied I watched him stride away, I never saw his face.
I should have bawled the bastard out, a yellow dog he slew.
But worse, he proved beyond a doubt that - I was yellow too.

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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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    "Yellow" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 3 Aug. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/32763/yellow>.

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