Robert William Service (16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)
Tell me, Tramp, where I may go
To be free from human woe;
Say where I may hope to find
Ease of heart and peace of mind;
Is thee not some isle you know
Where I may leave Care behind?
So spoke one is sore distress,
And I answered softly: "Yes,
There's an isle so sweet and kind
So to clemency inclined,
So serene in loveliness
That the blind may lead the blind.
"Where there is no shade of fear,
For the sun shines all the year,
And there hangs on every tree
Fruit and food for you an me:
With each dawn so crystal clear
How like heaven earth can be!
"Where in mild and friendly clime
You will lose all count of time,
See the seasons blend in one,
Under sovereignty of sun;
Day with day resolve in rhyme,
Reveries and nothing done.
"You will mock the ocean roar,
Knowing you will evermore
Bide beside a lorn lagoon,
Listen to the ripples croon
On the muteness of the shore,
Silver-shattered in the moon.
"Come, let's quit this sorry strife,
Seek a sweeter, saner life,
Go so far, so very far
It just seems another star.
Go where joy and love are rife,
Go where peace and plenty are."
But he answered: "Brother, no,
To your isle I'll never go,
For the pity in my heart
Will not let me live apart
From God's world of want and woe:
I will stay and play my part,
Strive and suffer . . . Be it so."
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