Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

The Search


I bought a young and lovely bride,
Paying her father gold;
Lamblike she rested by my side,
As cold as ice is cold.
No love in her could I awake,
Even for pity's sake.

I bought rich books I could not read,
And pictures proud and rare;
Reproachfully they seemed to plead
And hunger for my care;
But to their beauty I was blind,
Even as is a hind.

The bearded merchants heard my cry:
'I'll give all I posses
If only, only I can buy
A little happiness.'
Alas! I sought without avail:
They had not that for sale.

I gave my riches to the poor
And dared the desert lone;
Now of God's heaven I am sure
Though I am rag and bone . . .
Aye, richer than the Aga Khan,
At last--a happy man.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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