Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

The Visionary


If fortune had not granted me
To suck the Muse's teats,
I think I would have liked to be
A sweeper of the streets;
And city gutters glad to groom,
Have heft a bonny broom.

There--as amid the crass and crush
The limousines swished by,
I would have leaned upon my brush
With visionary eye:
Deeming despite their loud allure
That I was rich, they poor.

Aye, though in garb terrestrial,
To Heaven I would pray,
And dream with broom celestial
I swept the Milky Way;
And golden chariots would ring,
And harps of Heaven sing.

And all the strumpets passing me,
And heelers of the Ward
Would glorified Madonnas be,
And angels of the Lord;
And all the brats in gutters grim
Be rosy cherubim.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003
Edited: Friday, December 30, 2011

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