Robert William Service (16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)
He was our leader and our guide;
He was our saviour and our star.
We walked in friendship by his side,
Yet set him where our heroes are.
He taught disdain of fame and wealth;
With courage he inspired our youth;
He preached the purity of health,
And held aloft the torch of truth.
He bade us battle for the Right,
And led us in the carnage grim;
He was to us a living light,
And like a God we worshiped him.
He raised us from the grievous gloom,
And brimmed our hearts with radiant cheer;
And then he climbed up to his room,
And . . . cut his throat from ear to ear.
Let us not judge his seeming lapse;
His secret soul we could not see;
He smiled and left us, and perhaps
Death was his crowning victory.
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