Robert William Service
All day he lay upon the sand
When summer sun was bright,
And let the grains sift through his hand
With infantile delight;
Just like a child, so soft and fair,
Though he was twenty-five -
An innocent, my mother -care
Had kept so long alive.
Oh it is hard to bear a cross
For five-and-twenty years;
A daft son and a husband's loss
Are woes out-weighing tears.
Yet bright and beautiful was he,
Though barely could he walk;
And when he signaled out to sea
His talk was baby talk.
The man I loved was drowned out there
When we were ten weeks wed.
'Tis bitter hard a boy to bear
That's fathered by the dead.
And now I give my life to him
Because he needs me so;
And as I look my sight is dim
With pity, love and woe. . . .
Then suddenly I see him rise,
Tall, stalwart and serene . . .
Lo! There he stands before my eyes,
The man he might have been.
"Dear Mother mine," I hear him say,
"The curse that bound me fast,
Some miracle has swept away,
And all you pain is past.
Now I am strong and sane and free,
And you shall have your due;
For as you loved and cherished me,
I'll love and cherish you."
His kisses sooth away my pain,
His clasp is paradise . . .
Then - then I look at him again
With terror in my eyes:
For down he sinks upon the sand,
And heavy droops his head;
The golden grains drift through his hand . . .
I know - my boy is dead.
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Comments about this poem (Man Child by Robert William Service )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(24 January 1572 - 31 March 1631)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
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