Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Elementalist


Could Fate ordain a lot for me
Beyond all human ills,
I think that I would choose to be
A shephard of the hills;
With shaggy cloak and cape where skies
Eternally are blue
How I would stare with quiet eyes
At passing you!

And you would stare at static me,
Beside my patient flock;
And I would watch you silently,
A one with time and rock.
Then foreign farings you would chart,
And fly with fearsome wings,
While I would bide to be a part
Of elemental things.

Yet strangely I would have it so,
Since I am kin to these,--
To heather heath and bloom ablow,
And peaks and piney trees.
As diamond star at evenfall,
And pearly morning mist
Sing in my veins, myself I call
An Elementalist.

So as in city dirt and din
I push a grubby pen,
And toil, my bed and board to win,
I hate the haunts of men.
Beyond brick wall I seem to see
Fern dells and rocky rills . . .
O crazy dream! O God, to be
A shephard of the hills!

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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