Robert William Service

Boon Soul

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 …






Behold! I'm old; my hair is white;
My eighty years are in the offing,
And sitting by the fire to-night
I sip a grog to ease my coughing.
It's true I'm raucous as a rook,
But feeling bibulously "bardy,"
These lines I'm scribbling in a book:
The verse complete of Thomas Hardy.

Although to-day he's read by few,
Him have I loved beyond all measure;
So here to-night I riffle through
His pages with the oldtime pleasure;
And with this book upon my knee,
(To-day so woefully neglected)
I muse and think how soon I'll be
Myself among the Great Rejected.

Yet as these lines with zest I write,
Although the hour for me is tardy,
I think: "Of all the world to-night
'Tis I alone am reading Hardy";
And now to me he seems so nigh
I feel I commune with his spirit,
And as none love him more than I,
Thereby I gain a modest merit.

Oh Brother Thomas, glad I'll be,
Though all the world may pass unheeding,
If some greybeard con over me,
As I to-night your rhymes are reading;
Saying: "Old Bastard, you and I
By sin are knit in mind and body. . . ."
So ere to hit the hay I hie
Your ghost I'll toast in midnight toddy.

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