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Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Last Look


What would I choose to see when I
To this bright earth shall bid good-bye?
When fades forever from my sight
The world I've loved with long delight?
What would I pray to look on last,
When Death shall draw the Curtain fast?

I've loved the farewell of the Sun,
Low-lapsing after work well done;
Or leaping from a sea forlorn,
Gold-glad to greet a day new born. . . .
Shall I elect to round my dream
The Sun I hail as Lord Supreme?

Ah no! Of Heaven's shining host,
It is the Moon I love the most;
And if, when I shall cease to be,
God lets me keep one memory
Of loveliness that held me thrall,
The Moon's the one I would recall.

. . . The new Moon fine as pearly clip
From Cleopatra's finger-tip;
. . . The ripe Moon vaulting o'er the trees
As ruddy as a Cheddar cheese;
. . . The late Moon, frail and wanly fair,
Relaxed on silver rocking chair. . . .

But most of all, the Moon intense
With radiant indifference;
So placid, glacid, pure, serene,
Of all perfection proudly Queen. . . .
Oh Mistress Mine, let me adore
Your beauty but one moment more!
One last look . . . Let the Curtain fall,
Then let me look no more at all.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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