Robert William Service (16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)
Said he: "You saw the Master clear;
By Rushy Pond alone he sat,
Serene and silent as a seer,
in tweedy coat and seedy hat.
you tell me you did not intrude,
(Although his book was in your hand,)
Upon his melancholy mood . . .
I do not understand.
"You did not tell him: 'I have come
From o'er the sea to speak to you.'
You did not dare, your lips were dumb . . .
You thought a little zephyr blew
From Rushy Pond a touch of him
You'll cherish to your dying day,
Perhaps with tears your eyes were dim . . .
And then - you went away.
"And down the years you will proclaim:
'O call me dullard, dub me dunce!
But let this be my meed of fame:
I looked on Thomas Hardy once.
Aye, by a stile I stood a span
And with these eyes did plainly see
A little, shrinking, shabby man . . .
But Oh a god to me!'"
Said I: "'Tis true, I scarce dared look,
yet he would have been kind, I'm sure;
But though I clutched his precious book
I feared to beg his signature.
Ah yes, my friend, I merit mirth.
You're bold, you have the right to laugh,
And if Christ came again to earth
You'd cadge his autograph."
Comments about this poem (Hero Worship by Robert William Service )
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