Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

The Dream


Said Will: "I'll stay and till the land."
Said Jack: "I'll sail the sea."
So one went forth kit-bag in hand,
The other ploughed the lea.

They met again at Christmas-tide,
And wistful were the two.
Said Jack: "you're lucky here to bide."
Said Will: "I envy you."

"For in your eyes a light I see
Of tropic shores agleam."
Said Jack: "You need not envy me,
For still you have the Dream.

"The Dream that lured me out to sea;
'Twas bright as paradise;
Far fairer than the memory
You see within my eyes.

So if my foolish urge you share
In foreign lands to roam,
Take up my kit-bag waiting there
And I will stay at home."

* * * * * * * *

Yet while the years have fated Will
To sow the sober loam,
The eyes of Jack are starry still,
High-riding hills of foam.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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