Robert William Service (16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)
Though elegance I ill afford,
My living-room is green and gold;
The former tenant was a lord
Who died of drinking, I am told.
I fancy he was rather bored;
I don't think he was over old.
And where on books I dully browse,
And gaze in rapture at the sea,
My predecessor world carouse
In lavish infidelity
With ladies amoral as cows;
But interesting, you'll agree.
I'm dull as water in a ditch,
Making these silly bits of rhyme;
My Lord, I'm told, was passing rich
And must have has a lovely time;
With champagne and a pretty bitch
No need to heed the church-bell chime.
My living-room is marble floored,
And on its ceiling cherubs play;
But like my lord I'm often bored
And put my sullen books away;
And though my people say I snored,
I dream of indiscretions gay.
And often in the niggard night,
When sweet sleep I fail to drown,
I seem to see that noble sprite
In monocle and dressing-gown:
A glass of brandy to the light
He holds and winks and drinks it down.
When life's so beautifully planned,
Dear reader, can you understand
Why men should die be their own hand?
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