Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

The Ape And God


Son put a poser up to me
That made me scratch my head:
"God made the whole wide world," quoth he;
"That's right, my boy," I said.
Said son: "He mad the mountains soar,
And all the plains lie flat;
But Dad, what did he do before
He did all that?

Said I: "Creation was his biz;
He set the stars to shine;
The sun and moon and all that is
Were His unique design.
The Cosmos is his concrete thought,
The Universe his chore..."
Said Son: "I understand, but what
Did He before?"

I gave it up; I could not cope
With his enquiring prod,
And must admit I've little hope
Of understanding God.
Indeed I find more to my mind
The monkey in the tree
In whose crude form Nature defined
Our human destiny.

Thought I: "Why search for Deity
In visionary shape?
'Twould better be if we could see
The angel in the ape.
Let mystic seek a God above:
Far wiser he who delves,
To find in kindliness and love
God in ourselves."

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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