Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

A Rusty Nail - Poem by Robert William Service

I ran a nail into my hand,
The wound was hard to heal;
So bitter was the pain to stand
I thought how it would feel,
To have spikes thrust through hands and feet,
Impaled by hammer beat.

Then hoisted on a cross of oak
Against the sullen sky,
With all about the jeering follk
Who joyed to see me die;
Die hardly in insensate heat,
With bleeding hands and feet.

Yet was it not that day of Fate,
Of cruelty insane,
Climaxing centuries of hate
That woke our souls to pain!
And are we not the living seed
Of those who did the deed!

Of course, with thankful heart I know
We are not fiends as then;
And in a thousand years or so
We may be gentle men.
But it has cost a poisoned hand,
And pain beyond a cry,
To make me strangely understand
A Cross against the sky.


Comments about A Rusty Nail by Robert William Service

  • Rookie Trevor Irwin (8/3/2009 4:13:00 AM)

    An interesting identification with the perpetrators of the crucifixion, an honest one, love Service's humanity. (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Rookie Archie Langford (3/23/2008 2:18:00 AM)

    Robert has done a us a great service at Easter time (Report) Reply

Read all 2 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: pain, hate, fate, sky, heart, wind, running



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



[Hata Bildir]