Robert William Service
To smite Apollo's lyre I am unable;
Of loveliness, alas! I cannot sing.
My lot it i, across the tavern table,
To start a chorus to the strumming string.
I have no gift to touch your heart to pity;
I have no power to ring the note of pain:
All I can do is pipe a pot-house ditty,
Or roar a Rabelaisian refrain.
Behold yon minstrel of the empty belly,
Who seeks to please the bored and waiting throng,
Outside the Opera with ukulele,
And raucous strains of syncopated song.
His rag-time mocks their eager hearts a-hunger
For golden voices, melody divine:
Yet . . . throw a penny to the ballad-monger;
Yet . . . listen idly to this song of mine.
For with a humble heart I clank rhyme's fetters,
And bare my buttocks to the critic knout;
A graceless hobo in the Land of Letters,
Piping my ditties of the down-and-out.
A bar-room bard . . . so if a coin you're flinging,
Pay me a pot, and let me dream and booze;
To stars of scorn my dour defiance ringing,
With battered banjo and a strumpet Muse.
Robert William Service's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Prelude by Robert William Service )
- Ignorant people, MOHAMMAD SKATI
- Kassaman (We Pledge), Moufdi Zakaria
- the rain, ademola oluwabusayo
- Life format, gajanan mishra
- Lonely On A Train, Omar Eldamsheety
- Stone, I do admit, gajanan mishra
- O Time, Stop You, It's My Birthday! Let .., Bijay Kant Dubey
- Release, Fiona Davidson
- Jacques the Last, John F. McCullagh
- Kaalchakra, The Wheel of Time, Bijay Kant Dubey
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- "Hope" is the thing with feathers, Emily Dickinson
- If, Rudyard Kipling
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
- Heather Burns
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
William Carlos Williams
(17 September 1883 – 4 March 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)