Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

The Idealist


Oh you who have daring deeds to tell!
And you who have felt Ambition's spell!
Have you heard of the louse who longed to dwell
In the golden hair of a queen?
He sighed all day and he sighed all night,
And no one could understand it quite,
For the head of a slut is a louse's delight,
But he pined for the head of a queen.

So he left his kinsfolk in merry play,
And off by his lonesome he stole away,
From the home of his youth so bright and gay,
And gloriously unclean.
And at last he came to the palace gate,
And he made his way in a manner straight
(For a louse may go where a man must wait)
To the tiring-room of the queen.

The queen she spake to her tiring-maid:
"There's something the matter, I'm afraid.
To-night ere for sleep my hair ye braid,
Just see what may be seen."
And lo, when they combed that shining hair
They found him alone in his glory there,
And he cried: "I die, but I do not care,
For I've lived in the head of a queen!"

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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