Robert William Service (16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)
From torrid heat to frigid cold
I've rovered land and sea;
And now, with halting heart I hold
My grandchild on my knee:
Yet while I've eighty years all told,
Of moons she has but three.
She sleeps, that fragile miniature
Of future maidenhood;
She will be wonderful, I'm sure,
As over her I brood;
She is so innocent, so pure,
I know she will be good.
My way I've won from woe to weal,
And hard has been the fight;
Yet in my ingle-nook I feel
A wondrous peace to-night;
And over me serenely steal
Warm waves of love and light.
"What sloppy stuff!" I hear you say.
"Give us a lusty song."
Alas! I'm bent and gnarled and grey,--
My life may not be long:
Yet let its crown of glory be
This child upon me knee.
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