Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

The Man Who Knew


The Dreamer visioned Life as it might be,
And from his dream forthright a picture grew,
A painting all the people thronged to see,
And joyed therein -- till came the Man Who Knew,
Saying: "'Tis bad! Why do ye gape, ye fools!
He painteth not according to the schools."

The Dreamer probed Life's mystery of woe,
And in a book he sought to give the clue;
The people read, and saw that it was so,
And read again -- then came the Man Who Knew,
Saying: "Ye witless ones! this book is vile:
It hath not got the rudiments of style."

Love smote the Dreamer's lips, and silver clear
He sang a song so sweet, so tender true,
That all the market-place was thrilled to hear,
And listened rapt -- till came the Man Who Knew,
Saying: "His technique's wrong; he singeth ill.
Waste not your time." The singer's voice was still.

And then the people roused as if from sleep,
Crying: "What care we if it be not Art!
Hath he not charmed us, made us laugh and weep?
Come, let us crown him where he sits apart."
Then, with his picture spurned, his book unread,
His song unsung, they found their Dreamer -- dead.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Form:


Read poems about / on: people, song, silver, sleep, dream, life, school

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Man Who Knew by Robert William Service )

There is no comment submitted by members..

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  4. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  5. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  6. If, Rudyard Kipling
  7. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  8. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  9. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
[Hata Bildir]