Treasure Island

Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Red-Tiled Roof


Poets may praise a wattle thatch
Doubtfully waterproof;
Let me uplift my lowly latch
Beneath a rose-tiled roof.
Let it be gay and rich in hue,
Soft bleached by burning days,
Where skies ineffably are blue,
And seas a golden glaze.

But set me in the surly North
Beneath a roof of slate,
And as I sourly sally forth
My heart will hum with hate;
And I will brood beneath a pine
Where Nature seldom smiles,
Heart-longing for a starry vine
And roof of ruddy tiles.

For oh the South's a bonny clime
And sunshine is its life;
So there I'll finish up my time
A stranger unto strife.
And smoke my pipe and sit aloof
From care by miles and miles,
Sagaciously beneath a roof,
Geranium-gay and panic proof,
Of ruby tinted tiles.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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