Robert William Service (16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)
Gas got me in the first World War,
And all my mates at rest are laid.
I felt I might survive them for
I am a gardener by trade.
My life is in the open air,
And kindly is the work I do,
Since flowers are my joy and care,
And comfort too.
My flowers are a fairy sight,
Yes I'm an ugly, warped old man,
For I have lived in Fate's despite
A year beyond one's mortal span;
And owe my health no gentle toil
From dawn to dark, contented hours,
Of loving kinship with the soil,
A friend of flowers.
My dahlias are my pride today,
And many my creations be.
They're worth a fortune, people say,
But what does money mean to me?
Their glory is my rich reward,
And as their radiant heads they raise,
I dedicate them to the Lord,
With love and praise.
I grieve to think that sullen Powers
On bombs and guns their might depend;
If man had heart for growing flowers
Then would we all be friend and friend.
The glory of the world is his
Who seeks salvation in the sod,
And finds that golden sunshine is
The laugh of God.
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