Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

The Summing Up


When you have sailed the seven seas
And looped the ends of earth,
You'll long at last for slippered ease
Beside a bonny hearth;
A cosy cottage in the sun,
A pleasant page to read -
You'll find when all is said and done,
That's nearly all you need.

You may have pow-wowed with the Great
And played a potent part
In serious affairs of state,
But now with quiet heart
You bide beside a rosy fire
And blether with a friend,
Discovering that you require
So little in the end.

And all your days of fevered flight
For glory, gold or gear
Will seem so futile when the Night
Draws dolorously near;
And you will only ask to be
With modest comfort blest,
With sweetness of simplicity,
With rich reward of rest.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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