Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

My Coffin


Deeming that I was due to die
I framed myself a coffin;
So full of graveyard zeal was I,
I set the folks a-laughing.
I made it snugly to my fit,
My joinering was honest;
And sometimes in it I would sit,
And fancy I was non est.

I stored it on my cabin shelf
Forever to remind me,
When I was tickled with myself,
That Death was close behind me.
Let's be prepared, I used to say,
E're in the Dark we launch us:
And so with boding day by day
I kept me coffin-conscious.

Then came that winter dark as doom,
No firing wood had I;
My shack was icy as a tomb
And I was set to die.
But e'er the losing of my wits
I saw that coffin there,
S smashing the damned thing to bits
I made a gorgeous flare.

I never saw a flame so bright,
So goldenly divine,
As starred the blackness of the night
That boneyard box of mine.
And now I go forth coffin-shy,
With no more carnal fears,
For radiantly sure am I
I'll stack a hundred years.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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