Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

My Childhood God


When I was small the Lord appeared
Unto my mental eye
A gentle giant with a beard
Who homed up in the sky.
But soon that vasty vision blurred,
And faded in the end,
Till God is just another word
I cannot comprehend.

I envy those of simple faith
Who bend the votive knee;
Who do not doubt divinely death
Will set their spirits free.
Oh could I be like you and you,
Sweet souls who scan this line,
And by dim altar worship too
A Deity Divine!

Alas! Mid passions that appal
I ask with bitter woe
Is God responsible for all
Our horror here below?
He made the hero and the saint,
But did He also make
The cannibal in battle paint,
The shark and rattlesnake?

If I believe in God I should
Believe in Satan too;
The one the source of all our good,
The other of our rue . . .
Oh could I second childhood gain!
For then it might be, I
Once more would see that vision plain,--
Fond Father in the sky.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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