Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Washerwife


The aged Queen who passed away
Had sixty servants, so they say;
Twice sixty hands her shoes to tie:
Two soapy ones have I.

The old Queen had of beds a score;
A cot have I and ask no more.
For when the last is said and done
One can but die in one.

The old Queen rightly thought that she
Was better than the likes o' me;
And yet I'm glad despite her grace
I am not in her place.

The old Queen's gone and I am here,
To eat my tripe and drink my beer,
Athinkin' as I wash my clothes:
We must have monarchs, I suppose . . .
Well, well,--'Taint no skin off my nose!

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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