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(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

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A Hero

Three times I had the lust to kill,
To clutch a throat so young and fair,
And squeeze with all my might until
........................
........................
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Comments about this poem (A Lyric Day by Robert William Service )

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  • Joseph Poewhit (7/13/2013 7:21:00 PM)

    Real troubled emotional poem of a person.

    0 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Cambridge Keenan (7/13/2013 7:02:00 PM)

    How precious are your words with deep emotion...I could see the picture you painted...I could feel your very breath! ! thank you for sharing

  • Kanniappan Kanniappan (7/13/2013 12:36:00 PM)

    Suicidal tendency is bad, but the poem is good.

  • Claude H Oliver Ii (7/13/2013 9:18:00 AM)

    Another way of saying that our greatest battles are within.

  • Taiwo Lasisi (7/13/2013 5:51:00 AM)

    I pray not
    To have that thirst
    I'd be nut
    If I did that lest

  • Sylva Portoian (7/13/2013 5:07:00 AM)

    William...I can sing with you, , , Robert the Hero
    Your poem is a real true...
    I can sing with you...
    And pray not to do what you poeted...! ! !

  • Terence George Craddock (7/13/2012 9:29:00 AM)

    The dramatic monologue of 'A Hero' by Robert William Service is a rapid paced exciting read. The expected hero the title foreshadows, immediately twists in the first lines, with a confession of the lust to kill, the speaker describes. The interesting description of the mental battle in the mind between good and evil thoughts extends into the second stanza.
    The speaker is mad, 'Three times' already he has driven 'the lust to kill' out, but he knows 'beyond a doubt' the demon desire to kill will get him yet. The dilemma extends; confess to madness, let doctors care for him, confined 'in a padded cell/ And never, never set me free'. The speaker is young and cannot face a life imprisoned in an insane asylum, thus 'there is but one thing to do.'
    Excitement builds within the tension mounting abab end rhyme scheme. The speaker grips the reader with 'Three times I beat the foul fiend back; / The fourth, I know he will prevail'. The suicide scene is described like the script in an action packed cinematic silent movie screen; the train sighted in the distance, his head laid upon the rail, the thunder of the trains approach roars in his ears, the train coming to crush his 'cursed brain... '. The fear expressed in the desperate scream 'Oh God, have mercy on my soul! '
    The poem is written to entertain yet the title intrigues. It plays upon the concept of what is a hero and justified suicide, contrasted with the Biblical suicide as a sin. Does insanity pardon suicide? Surely proven insanity must yet, the plea to God to save his soul, implies the speaker fears and knows what he is doing. His suicide saves the lives of those he would have killed in his insanity, heroes save lives, the intrigue in the dramatic ending continues. A quite exceptional poem.

  • Jacob Bearer (7/13/2012 7:26:00 AM)

    ''Verse, not poetry, is what I was after... something the man in the street would take notice of and the sweet old lady would paste in her album; something the schoolboy would spout and the fellow in the pub would quote. Yet I never wrote to please anyone but myself; it just happened. I belonged to the simple folks whom I liked to please'' (Robert William Service) .

  • Osama Waqar (7/13/2012 5:19:00 AM)

    just beautiful.........

  • Herman Chiu (7/16/2010 1:14:00 AM)

    Many a hero having heard too much and understood too little, staring romantically at the moon and dark sky.
    Such sacrifice should run incomparable in all the land, only as unexplored.

    If it were you, do you see yourself in his place?

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