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Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Repentance


"If you repent," the Parson said,"
Your sins will be forgiven.
Aye, even on your dying bed
You're not too late for heaven."

That's just my cup of tea, I thought,
Though for my sins I sorrow;
Since salvation is easy bought
I will repent . . . to-morrow.

To-morrow and to-morrow went,
But though my youth was flying,
I was reluctant to repent,
having no fear of dying.

'Tis plain, I mused, the more I sin,
(To Satan's jubilation)
When I repent the more I'll win
Celestial approbation.

So still I sin, and though I fail
To get snow-whitely shriven,
My timing's good: I home to hail
The last bus up to heaven.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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