Robert William Service

An Old Story

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 …






(Retold in Rhyme)

They threw him in a prison cell;
He moaned upon his bed.
And when he crept from coils of hell:
"Last night you killed," they said.

"last night in drunken rage you slew
A being brave with breath;
A radiant soul, because of you
Lies dark in death."

"last night I killed," he moaned distraught,
"When I was wild with wine;
I slew, and I remember naught . . .
O Mother, Mother mine!

"To what unbridled rage may lead
You taught me at your knew.
Why did I not your warning heed . . .
And now - the gallows tree.

"O Mother, Mother, come to me,
For I am sore distrest,
And I would kneel beside your knee
And weep upon your breast. . . ."

They stared at him; their lips were dumb,
Their eyes tear filled;
Then spoke the Priest: "She cannot come . . .
'Twas she you killed."

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