Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Poor Poet


'A man should write to please himself,'
He proudly said.
Well, see his poems on the shelf,
Dusty, unread.

When he came to my shop each day,
So peaked and cold,
I'd sneak one of his books away
And say 'twas sold.

And then by chance he looked below,
And saw a stack
Of his own work,--speechless with woe
He came not back.

I hate to think he took to drink,
And passed away;
I have not heard of him a word
Unto this day.

A man must write to please himself,
Of all it's true;
But happy they who spurning pelf--
Please people too.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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