Treasure Island

Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

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"Fighting Mac"


A Life Tragedy

A pistol shot rings round and round the world;
........................
........................
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Comments about this poem ("Fighting Mac" by Robert William Service )

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  • ian Sutherland (9/23/2014 6:19:00 AM)

    This poem is about a brave and dedicated soldier called Hector MacDonald who left his job as an apprentice kiltmaker in Inverness to join the Gordon Highlanders in Aberdeen.

    He worked his way up the ranks and became a celebrated hero for his bravery in the Soudan and in India.

    He was eroniously accused of child molesting and homosexuality by his senior in command and advised to do the right thing. Hector shot himself in the head in a small hotel in Paris.

    The accusations were never endorsed or proven or even effectively looked into.

    He was a friend of the famous Scott Skinner (celebrated fiddler and composer) of Aberdeenshire who wrote a tune in his memory called Hector The Hero.

    Sudsieboy. (Report) Reply

  • ian Sutherland (9/23/2014 6:17:00 AM)

    This poem is about a brave and dedicated soldier called Hector MacDonald who left his job as an apprentice kiltmaker in Inverness to join the Gordon Highlanders in Aberdeen.

    He worked his way up the ranks and became a celebrated hero for his bravery in the Soudan and in India.

    He was eroniously accused of child molesting and homosexuality by his senior in command and advised to do the right thing. Hector shot himself in the head in a small hotel in Paris.

    The accusations were never endorsed or proven or even effectively looked into.

    He was a friend of the famous Scott Skinner (celebrated fiddler and composer) of Aberdeenshire who wrote a tune in his memory called Hector The Hero.

    Sudsieboy. (Report) Reply

  • * Sunprincess * (1/22/2014 2:49:00 PM)

    ......even today many of the armed service members commit suicide...even more so than previously I imagine...and they say suicide runs in families...it may not be a sickness of the body, but a sickness of the soul itself...which causes people to give up their life...and go into the mysterious unknown... (Report) Reply

  • Sadiqullah Khan (1/22/2010 11:15:00 PM)

    The poor warrior
    Hired to protect the booty
    Of the company of traders
    From west to east
    Plunder and plunder
    And follows the gospel
    Anointed holy
    Crown and cross
    With sacks full
    The warrior returns
    To the north land
    For many an avarice
    His head without pride
    So he commits suicide
    “The echo of his deeds is ringing yet -
    Will ring for aye. All else... let us forget” (Report) Reply

  • Michael Pruchnicki (1/22/2010 12:03:00 PM)

    Please spare us the usual whine full of the current fashionable political correctness and the garbled grammar of twisted logic!

    First of all, Service makes clear that the poem expresses the tragedy of one man's life! The suicide was committed by a soldier whose king was proud to shake his hand (doubtless after pinning the Victoria Cross on his Highlander's scarlet tunic!) and princes of the realm called him friend. What was the world that Service alludes to but the British Empire before its post-WW2 decline into a welfare state! The ever-present taint of 'racism' (the only sin recognized in the modern welfare state) makes its way into a 'first class poem with great lines' (thank you for the left-handed compliment) ! Why in the world cannot his 'disgrace' be simply his failure to die in battle, as a loyal soldier of his country might well long for? (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (1/22/2010 12:54:00 AM)

    Poetic stanzas are perfect in execution! Bravery of old story might inspire the present soldiers at wars! But those days are gone! Now in the modern world war no bravery is needed as all fight with great protection without any risk at all thanks to new technological inventions in war machines! (Report) Reply

  • Michael Pruchnicki (1/22/2009 2:50:00 PM)

    The Empire ends with a single round to the head! And it's still rocking. says the bard of the stereotypical response to everything that he reads here and everywhere from the highland hills to the desert sands of the Bedouin warrior!
    Whatever that means, you tell me! IS IT POETRY? he signs off but never reveals his innermost thoughts on the subject, except that 'it's still rocking'!

    I think he means that the end for a warrior is always violent. You live by the sword, etc. Save the last bullet for yourself, etc. You like its history? It lifts the spirits of present-day knights in shining, etc. Here's to you, Robert W. Service and the likes of Dan McGrew! (Report) Reply

  • Is It Poetry (1/22/2009 10:20:00 AM)

    While lying such transposed the world of his from start to finish flew from eye to mind the lot of warrior lives...) it(s still rocking.... (Report) Reply

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