A Song Of Servitude.

This is a song of serfs that I have made,
A song of sympathy for grief and joy: -
The old, the young, the lov'd and the betrayed,
All, all must serve, for all must be obeyed.
There are no tyrants but the serving ones,
There are no servants but the ruling men.
The Captain conquers with his army's guns,
But he himself is conquered by his sons.
What is a parent but a daughter's slave,
A son's retainer when the lad is ill?
The great Creator loves the good and brave,
And makes a flower the spokesman of a grave.
The son is servant in his father's halls,
The daughter is her mother's maid-of-work.
The welkin wonders when the ocean calls,
And earth accepts the raindrop when it falls.
There are no "ups" in life, there are no "downs,"
For "high" and "low" are words of like degree;
He who is light of heart when Fortune frowns,
He is a king though nameless in the towns.
None is so lofty as the sage who prays,
None so unhigh as he who will not kneel.
The breeze is servant to the summer days,
And he is bowed-to most who most obeys.
These are the maxims that I take to heart,
Do thou accept them, reader, for thine own;
Love well thy work; be truthful in the mart,
And foes will praise thee when thy friends depart.
None shall upbraid thee then for thine estate,
Or show thee meaner than thou art in truth.
Make friends with death; and God who is so great,
He will assist thee to a nobler fate.
None are unfit to serve upon their knees
The saints of prayer, unseen but quick to hear.
The flowers are servants to the pilgrim bees,
And wintry winds are tyrants of the trees.
All things are good; all things incur a debt,
And all must pay the same, or soon or late
The sun will rise betimes, but he must set;
And Man must seek the laws he would forget.
There are no mockeries in the universe,
No false accounts, no errors that will thrive.
The work we do, the good things we rehearse,
Are boons of Nature basely named a curse.
"Give us our daily bread!" the children pray,
And mothers plead for them while thus they speak.
But "Give us work, O God!" we men should say,
That we may gain our bread from day to day.
'Tis not alone the crown that makes the king;
'Tis service done, 'tis duty to his kind.
The lark that soars so high is quick to sing,
And proud to yield allegiance to the spring.
And we who serve ourselves, whate'er befall
Athwart the dangers of the day's behests,
Oh, let's not shirk, at joy or sorrow's call,
The service due to God who serves us all!
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

Modified on March 05, 2023

2:42 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 2,574
Words 534
Stanzas 14
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Eric Mackay

George Eric Mackay was an English minor poet, now remembered as the sponging half-brother of Marie Corelli, the best-selling novelist. Mackay and Corelli, born Mary Mackay, were the children of Charles Mackay, by different mothers. As a poet he is described as "execrable", and reliant on Corelli's promotion of his works. Mackay achieved some reputation in his time for Letters of a Violinist. It sold 35,000 copies; he repaid Corelli's efforts by implying he wrote her novels. A 1940 biography of Corelli, George Bullock's Marie Corelli: The Life and Death of a Best-Seller, hinted that the relationship was incestuous; this has generally been discounted, though Eric's laziness and lack of scruples are acknowledged. This was an old rumour, attributed to Edmund Gosse. more…

All Eric Mackay poems | Eric Mackay Books

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