Robert William Service

Poet And Peer

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 …






They asked the Bard of Ayr to dine;
The banquet hall was fit and fine,
  With gracing it a Lord;
The poet came; his face was grim
To find the place reserved for him
  Was at the butler's board.

So when the gentry called him in,
He entered with a knavish grin
  And sipped a glass of wine;
But when they asked would he recite
Something of late he'd chanced to write
  He ettled to decline.

Then with a sly, sardonic look
He opened up a little book
  Containing many a gem;
And as they sat in raiment fine,
So smug and soused with rosy wine,
  This verse he read to them.

'You see yon birkie caw'ed a Lord,
  Who struts and stares an' a' that,
Though hundreds worship at his word
  He's but a coof for a' that.
For a' that and a' that,
  A man's a man for a' that.

He pointed at that portly Grace
Who glared with apoplectic face,
  While others stared with gloom;
Then having paid them all he owed,
Burns, Bard of Homespun, smiled and strode
  Superbly from the room.

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