Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Winnie Poem by Robert William Service


When I went by the meadow gate
The chestnut mare would trot to meet me,
And as her coming I would wait,
She'd whinney high as if to greet me.
And I would kiss her silky nose,
And stroke her neck until it glistened,
And speak soft words: I don't suppose
She understand - but how she listened!

Then in the war-net I was caught,
Returning three black winters older;
And when the little mare I sought
The farmer told me he had sold her.
And so time passed - when in the street
One day I heard a plaintive whinney
That roused a recollection sweet,
So then I turned and there was Winnie.

I vow she knew me, mooning there.
She raised her nose for me to fondle,
And though I'd lost an arm I'll swear
She kissed the empty sleeve a-dangle.
But oh it cut me to the heart,
Though I was awful glad to meet her,
For lo! she dragged a tinker's cart
And stumbled weakly as he beat her.

Just skin and bone, a sorry hack!
Say, fellow, you may think it funny:

I made a deal and bought her back,

Though it took all my bonus money.
And she'll be in the meadow there,
As long as I have dough for spending . . .
Gee! I'll take care of that old mare -
"Sweetheart! you'll have a happy ending."

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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