Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Detachment


As I go forth from fair to mart
With racket ringing,
Who would divine that in my heart
Mad larks are singing.
As I sweet sympathy express,
Lest I should pain them,
The money-mongers cannot guess
How I disdain them.

As I sit at some silly tea
And flirt and flatter
How I abhor society
And female chatter.
As I with wonderment survey
Their peacock dresses,
My mind is wafted far away
To wildernesses.

As I sit in some raucous pub,
Taboo to women,
And treat myself to greasy grub
I feel quite human.
Yet there I dream, despite the din,
Of God's green spaces,
And sweetly dwell the peace within
Of sylvan graces.

And so I wear my daily mask
Of pleasant seeming,
And nobody takes me to task
For distant dreaming;
A happy hypocrite am I
Of ambiance inner,
Who smiling make the same reply
To saint and sinner.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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