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Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

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Because my eyes were none to bright
Strong spectacles I bought,
And lo! there sprang into my sight
A life beyond my thought:
A world of wonder and delight
My magic lenses brought.

Aye, sudden leaping in my sight
The far became the near;
Life unbelievably was bright,
And vividly was clear.
My heart was lifted with delight,
Then--then I shrank in fear.

For faces I had thought were gay
I saw were lined with care,
While strange corruption and decay
Surprised me everywhere:
Dismayed I put my specs away,--
Such truth I could not bear.

And now I do not want to see
With clarity of view;
For while there's heaven hell may be
More tragically true:
Though dim may be Reality,
Sheer love shines through.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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