Robert William Service

Mactavish

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 …






I do not write for love of pelf,
Nor lust for phantom fame;
I do not rhyme to please myself,
Nor yet to win acclaim:
No, strange to say it is my plan,
What gifts I have, to lavish
Upon a simple working man
  MACTAVISH.

For that's the rather smeary name,
Of dreary toil a hinter,
That heads the galley proofs that came
This morning from my printer;
My patient pencil much they need,
Yet how my eyes they ravish,
As at the top of each I read:
  MACTAVISH.

Who is the meek and modest man,
Who puffs no doubt a pipe,
And has my manuscript to scan,
And put in magic type?
Somehow I'm glad that he is not
Iberian or Slavish -
I hail him as a brother Scot,
  MACTAVISH.

I do not want to bore him with
My work, I make it snappy;
For even though his name were Smith,
I'd like him to be happy.
I hope, because I'm stumped for rhyme,
He will not think me knavish,
If I should call him just this time:
  MACTAVISH.

Forgive me, Friend Mactavish. I
No doubt have cost you curses;
I'm sorry for you as you try
To put my type in verses;
And though new names I know you by,
When of new books creator,
I'll always look on you as my
  COLLABORATOR.

© Poetry.com