Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Dark Truth


Birds have no consciousness of doom:
Yon thrush that serenades me daily
From scented snow of hawthorn bloom
Would not trill out his glee so gaily,
Could he foretell his songful breath
Would sadly soon be stilled in death.

Yon lambs that frolic on the lea
And incarnate the joy of life,
Would scarce disport them could they see
The shadow of the butcher's knife:
Oh Nature, with your loving ruth,
You spare them knowledge of Dark Truth.

To sad humanity alone,
(Creation's triumph ultimate)
The grimness of the grave is known,
The dusty destiny await . . . .
Oh bird and beast, with joy, elance
Effulgently your ingorance!
Oh man, previsioning the hearse,
With fortitude accept your curse!

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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