Robert William Service
a poet and writer who has often been called "the Bard of the Yukon".
Service is best known for his poems "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" and "The Cremation of Sam McGee", from his first book, Songs of a Sourdough (1907; also published as The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses). "These humorous tales in verse were considered doggerel by the literary set, yet remain extremely popular to this day." Songs of a Sourdough has sold more than three million copies, making it the most commercially successful book of poetry of the 20th century.
Robert W. Service was born in Preston, Lancashire, England, ... more »
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Robert William Service Poems
The Cremation Of Sam McGee
There are strange things done in the midnight sun By the men who moil for gold; The Arctic trails have their secret tales That would make your blood run cold;
A Grain Of Sand
If starry space no limit knows And sun succeeds to sun, There is no reason to suppose Our earth the only one.
Three times I had the lust to kill, To clutch a throat so young and fair, And squeeze with all my might until No breath of being lingered there.
Home And Love
Just Home and Love! the words are small Four little letters unto each; And yet you will not find in all The wide and gracious range of speech
If you had the choice of two women to wed, (Though of course the idea is quite absurd) And the first from her heels to her dainty head Was charming in every sense of the word:
Say! You've struck a heap of trouble -- Bust in business, lost your wife; No one cares a cent about you, You don't care a cent for life;
A Life Tragedy A pistol shot rings round and round the world; In pitiful defeat a warrior lies.
A Busy Man
This crowded life of God's good giving No man has relished more than I; I've been so goldarned busy living I've never had the time to die.
A Little Prayer
Let us be thankful, Lord, for little things - The song of birds, the rapture of the rose; Cloud-dappled skies, the laugh of limpid springs, Drowned sunbeams and the perfume April blows;
A Song Of Suicide
Deeming that I were better dead, "How shall I kill myself?" I said. Thus mooning by the river Seine I sought extinction without pain,
The Shooting Of Dan McGrew
A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon; The kid that handles the music-box was hitting a jag-time tune; Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew, And watching his luck was his light-o'-love, the lady that's known as Lou.
The Men That Don't Fit In
There's a race of men that don't fit in, A race that can't stay still; So they break the hearts of kith and kin, And they roam the world at will.
A Lyric Day
I deem that there are lyric days So ripe with radiance and cheer, So rich with gratitude and praise That they enrapture all the year.
It's easy to fight when everything's right, And you're mad with the thrill and the glory; It's easy to cheer when victory's near, And wallow in fields that are gory.
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
The Cremation Of Sam McGee
There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.
Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam 'round the Pole, God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
Though he'd often say in ...