Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Lowly Laureate


O Sacred Muse, my lyre excuse! -
My verse is vagrant singing;
Rhyme I invoke for simple folk
Of penny-wise upbringing:
For Grannies grey to paste away
Within an album cover;
For maids in class to primly pass,
And lads to linger over.

I take the clay of every day
And mould it in my fashion;
I seek to trace the commonplace
With humor and compassion.
Of earth am I, and meekly try
To be supremely human:
To please, I plan, the little man,
And win the little women.

No evil theme shall daunt my dream
Of fellow-love and pity;
I tune my lute to prostitute,
To priest I pipe my ditty.
Through gutter-grime be in my rhyme,
I bow to altars holy. . . .
Lord, humble me, so I may be
A Laureate of the Lowly.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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