Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Reverence


I saw the Greatest Man on Earth,
Aye, saw him with my proper eyes.
A loin-cloth spanned his proper girth,
But he was naked otherwise,
Excepting for his grey sombrero;
And when his domelike head he bared,
With reverence I stared and stared,
As mummified as any Pharaoh.

He leaned upon a little cane,
A big cigar was in his mouth;
Through spectacles of yellow stain
He gazed and gazed toward the South;
And then he dived into the sea,
As if to Corsica to swim;
His side stroke was so strong and free
I could not help but envy him.

A fitter man than I, I said,
Although his age is more than mine;
And I was strangely comforted
To see him battle in the brine.
Thought I: We have no cause for sorrow;
For one so dynamic to-day
Will gird him for the future fray
And lead us lion-like to-morrow.

The Greatest Man in all the world
Lay lazing like you or me,
Within a flimsy bathrobe curled
Upon a mattress by the sea:
He reached to pat a tou-tou's nose,
And scratched his torso now and then,
And scribbled with a fountain pen
What I assumed was jewelled prose.

And then methought he looked at me,
And hailed me with a gesture grand;
His fingers made the letter "V,"
So I, too, went to raise my hand; -
When nigh to me the barman glided
With liquid gold, and then I knew
He merely called for cock-tails two,
And so abjectly I subsided.

Yet I have had my moment's glory,
A-squatting nigh that Mighty Tory,
Proud Hero of our Island Story.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Form:


Read poems about / on: hero, sea, future, sorrow, world, swimming

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Reverence by Robert William Service )

There is no comment submitted by members..

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  5. If, Rudyard Kipling
  6. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  7. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  8. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. On the Ning Nang Nong, Spike Milligan
  10. All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
[Hata Bildir]