Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

The Headliner And The Breadliner


Moko, the Educated Ape is here,
The pet of vaudeville, so the posters say,
And every night the gaping people pay
To see him in his panoply appear;
To see him pad his paunch with dainty cheer,
Puff his perfecto, swill champagne, and sway
Just like a gentleman, yet all in play,
Then bow himself off stage with brutish leer.

And as to-night, with noble knowledge crammed,
I 'mid this human compost take my place,
I, once a poet, now so dead and damned,
The woeful tears half freezing on my face:
"O God!" I cry, "let me but take his shape,
Moko's, the Blest, the Educated Ape."

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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