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Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Two Men (J. L. And R. B.)


In the Northland there were three
Pukka Pliers of the pen;
Two of them had Fame in fee
And were loud and lusty men;
By them like a shrimp was I -
Yet alas! they had to die.

Jack was genius through and through.
Who his future could foretell?
What we sweated blood to do
He would deem a bagatelle.
Yet in youth he had to die,
And an ancient man am I.

Rex was rugged as an oak;
Story-teller born was he.
First of writing, fighting folk,
How he lived prodigiously!
Better man he was than I,
Yet forlorn he had to die.

Jack was made of god-like stuff,
Born to battle for the right;
Rex of fighting had enough
When the gods destroyed his sight . . .
Craven heart - I wonder why
Lingering alone am I?

They were men of valiant breed,
Fit and fearless in the fight,
Who in every thought and deed
Burned the flame of life too bright.
Cowards live, while heroes die . . .
They have gone and - here am I.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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