Robert William Service (16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)
Birds Of A Feather
Of bosom friends I've had but seven,
Despite my years are ripe;
I hope they're now enjoying Heaven,
Although they're not the type;
Nor, candidly, no more am I,
Though overdue to die.
For looking back I see that they
Were weak and wasteful men;
They loved a sultry jest alway,
And women now and then.
They smoked and gambled, soused and swore,
--Yet no one was a bore.
'Tis strange I took to lads like these,
On whom the good should frown;
Yet all with poetry would please
To wash his wassail down;
Their temples touched the starry way,
But O what feet of clay!
Well, all are dust, of fame bereft;
They bore a cruel cross,
And I, the canny one, am left,--
Yet as I grieve their loss,
I deem, because they loved me well,
They'll welcome me in Hell.
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