Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Lost Shepherd - Poem by Robert William Service

Ah me! How hard is destiny!
If we could only know. . . .
I bought my son from Sicily
A score of years ago;
I haled him from our sunny vale
To streets of din and squalor,
And left it to professors pale
To make of him a scholar.

Had he remained a peasant lad,
A shepherd on the hill,
like golden faun in goatskin clad
He might be singing still;
He would have made the flock his care
And lept with gay reliance
On thymy heights, unwitting there
Was such a thing as science.

He would have crooned to his guitar,
Draughts of chianti drinking;
A better destiny by far
Than reading, writing, thinking.
So bent above his books was he,
His thirst for knowledge slaking,
He did not realize that we
Are worm-food in the making.

Ambition got him in its grip
And inched him to his doom;
Fate granted him a fellowship,
Then graved for him a tomb.
"Beneath my feet I can't allow
The grass to grow," he said;
And toiled so tirelessly that now
It grows above his head.

His honour scrolls shall feed the flame,
They mean no more to me;
His ashes I with bitter blame
Will take to Sicily.
And there I'll weep with heart bereft,
By groves and sunny rills,
And wish my laughing boy I'd left
A shepherd on the hills.

Comments about Lost Shepherd by Robert William Service

There is no comment submitted by members..

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: destiny, guitar, food, son, fate, lost

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

[Hata Bildir]