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Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

My Ancestors


A barefoot boy I went to school
To save a cobbler's fee,
For though the porridge pot was full
A frugal folk were we;
We baked our bannocks, spun our wool,
And counted each bawbee.

We reft our living from the soil,
And I was shieling bred;
My father's hands were warped with toil,
And crooked with grace he said.
My mother made the kettle boil
As spinning wheel she fed.

My granny smoked a pipe of clay,
And yammered of her youth;
The hairs upon her chin were grey,
She had a single tooth;
Her mutch was grimed, I grieve to say,
For I would speak the truth.

You of your ancestry may boast,--
Well, here I brag of mine;
For if there is a heaven host
I hope they'll be in line:
My dad with collie at his heel
In plaid of tartan stripe;
My mammie with her spinning wheel,
My granny with her pipe.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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