Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Schizophrenic


Each morning as I catch my bus,
A-fearing I'll be late,
I think: there are in all of us
Two folks quite separate;
As one I greet the office staff
With grim, official mien;
The other's when I belly-laugh,
And Home Sweet Home's the scene.

I've half a hundred men to boss,
And take my job to heart;
You'll never find me at a loss,
So well I play my part.
My voice is hard, my eye is cold,
My mouth is grimly set;
They all consider me, I'm told,
A "bloody martinet."

But when I reach my home at night
I'm happy as a boy;
My kiddies kiss me with delight,
And dance a jig of joy.
I slip into my oldest cloths,
My lines of care uncrease;
I mow the lawn, unhook the hose,
And glow with garden peace.

It's then I wonder which I am,
the boss with hard-boiled eye,
Or just the gay don't care-a-damn
Go-lucky garden guy?
Am I the starchy front who rants
As round his weight he throws,
or just old Pop with patchy pants,
Who sings and sniffs a rose?

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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