Robert William Service (16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)
I have no brief for gambling, nay
The notion I express
That money earned 's the only way
To pay for happiness.
With cards and dice I do not hold;
By betting I've been bit:
Conclusion: to get honest gold
You've got to sweat for it.
Though there be evil in strong drink
It's brought me heaps of fun;
And now, with some reserve, I think
My toping days are done.
Though at teetotal cranks I laugh,
Yet being sound and hale,
I find the best of drinks to quaff
Is good old Adam's ale.
I do not like your moralist,
Who with a righteous grin
Informs you o'er a pounding fist:
"Unchastity is sin."
I don't believe it, but I grant,
By every human test,
From parson, pimp and maiden aunt,
Morality is best.
Yet what a bore our lives would be
If we lived as we should;
It's such a blessing to be free,
And not be over-good.
I value virtues great and small,
As I in life advance:
But O the greatest sin of all
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