Robert William Service (16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)
The God of Scribes looked down and saw
The bitter band of seven,
Who had outraged his holy law
And lost their hope of Heaven:
Came Villon, petty thief and pimp,
And obscene Baudelaire,
And Byron with his letcher limp,
And Poe with starry stare.
And Wilde who lived his hell on earth,
And Burns, the baudy bard,
And Francis Thompson, from his birth
Malevolently starred. . . .
As like a line of livid ghosts
They started to paradise,
The galaxy of Heaven's hosts
Looked down in soft surmise.
Said God: "You bastards of my love,
You are my chosen sons;
Come, I will set you high above
These merely holy ones.
Your sins you've paid in gall and grief,
So to these radiant skies,
Seducer, drunkard, dopester, thief,
I am your Father, fond and just,
And all your folly see;
Your beastiality and lust
I also know in me.
You did the task I gave to you . . .
Arise and sit beside
My Son, the best beloved, who
Was also crucified.
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