Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Hobo - Poem by Robert William Service

A father's pride I used to know,
A mother's love was mine;
For swinish husks I let them go,
And bedded with the swine.
Since then I've come on evil days
And most of life is hell;
But even swine have winsome ways
When once you know them well.

One time I guessed I'd cease to roam,
And greet the folks again;
And so I rode the rods to home
And through the window pane
I saw them weary, worn and grey . . .
I gazed from the garden gloom,
And like sweet, shiny saints were they
Int taht sweet, shiny room.

D'ye think I hollored out: "Hullo!"
The prodigal to play,
And eat the fatted calf? Ah no,
I cursed and ran away.
My eyes were blears of whisky tears
As to a pub I ran:
But once at least I beat the beast
And proved myself a man.

Oh, some day I am going back,
But I'll have gold galore;
I'll wear a suit of sobber black
And knock upon the door.
I'l tell them how I've made a stake,
We'll have the grandest time. . . .
"Say, Mister, give a guy a break:
For Chrissake, spare a dime."

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Read poems about / on: evil, pride, father, mother, home, time, running

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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