Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Death Of A Cockroach - Poem by Robert William Service

I opened wide the bath-room door,
And all at once switched on the light,
When moving swift across the floor
I saw a streak of ebon bright:
Then quick, with slipper in my hand,
Before it could escape,--I slammed.
I missed it once, I missed it twice,
But got it ere it gained its lair.
I fear my words were far from nice,
Though d----s with me are rather rare:
Then lo! I thought that dying roach
Regarded me with some reproach.

Said I: "Don't think I grudge you breath;
I hate to spill your greenish gore,
But why did you invite your death
By straying on my bath-room floor?"
"It is because," said he (or she),
"Adventure is my destiny.

"By evolution I was planned,
And marvellously made as you;
And I am led to understand
The selfsame God conceived us two:
Sire, though the coup de grâce you give,
Even a roach has right to live."

Said I: "Of course you have a right,--
But not to blot my bath-room floor.
Yet though with slipper I may smite,
Your doom I morally deplore . . .
From cellar gloom to stellar space
Let bards and beetles have their place.


Comments about Death Of A Cockroach by Robert William Service

  • Gold Star - 13,236 Points Terry Craddock (4/25/2015 11:48:00 PM)

    Yet though with slipper I may smite,
    Your doom I morally deplore...
    From cellar gloom to stellar space
    Let bards and beetles have their place.

    wow kinda makes the death of a cockroach cosmic, best cockroach poem I have ever read :) (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rookie - 65 Points Shylendra K S (4/25/2015 9:15:00 PM)

    Very realistic and experience of all. Optly brought down as a poem. (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,553 Points Michael Walker (4/25/2015 9:14:00 PM)

    What drivel! As if you could write a poem about such a revolting, dirty creature. M. Walker. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 17,485 Points Kim Barney (4/25/2015 7:50:00 PM)

    One of my favorite poets showing his great sense of humor. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 31,644 Points Chinedu Dike (4/25/2015 5:24:00 PM)

    A lovely narrative piece, well articulated and penned with conviction. (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 4,370 Points Points Of View (4/25/2015 12:06:00 PM)

    It simple but deep.. I am also a killer roach :) Now I feel sorry.I feel guilty But to depend myself roach scared me So i spank with my slipper and kill roach to death. Lol.. Nice one (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 406 Points Richard Blay (4/25/2015 7:59:00 AM)

    Nicely written and very deep (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 7,490 Points Madathil Rajendran Nair (4/25/2015 4:54:00 AM)

    From cellar gloom to stellar space
    Let bards and beetles have their place

    Well how is this peaceful co-existence possible is the big question. Thought-provoking poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 65 Points Thomas Duncky (4/25/2015 2:55:00 AM)

    I love Robert William Service, he never disappoints with his philosophical views of life and the world (Report) Reply

Read all 9 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: destiny, hate, fear, death, light, god



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



[Hata Bildir]