Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

A Grain Of Sand

Poem by Robert William Service

If starry space no limit knows
And sun succeeds to sun,
There is no reason to suppose
Our earth the only one.
'Mid countless constellations cast
A million worlds may be,
With each a God to bless or blast
And steer to destiny.

Just think! A million gods or so
To guide each vital stream,
With over all to boss the show
A Deity supreme.
Such magnitudes oppress my mind;
From cosmic space it swings;
So ultimately glad to find
Relief in little things.

For look! Within my hollow hand,
While round the earth careens,
I hold a single grain of sand
And wonder what it means.
Ah! If I had the eyes to see,
And brain to understand,
I think Life's mystery might be
Solved in this grain of sand.


Comments about A Grain Of Sand by Robert William Service

  • Dr Tony BrahminDr Tony Brahmin (1/21/2020 8:51:00 AM)

    Ah! If I had the eyes to see,
    And brain to understand,
    I think Life's mystery might be
    Solved in this grain of sand... Life is a mystery.. tony(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Spock The VeganSpock The Vegan (7/31/2019 10:57:00 PM)

    Very nice.
    With over all to boss the show
    A Deity supreme.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Bhagabat Prasad HottaBhagabat Prasad Hotta (11/9/2018 10:47:00 AM)

    Most beautiful poem sir...I enjoyed it....(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Ruta MohapatraRuta Mohapatra (9/24/2018 12:28:00 PM)

    'Ah! If I had the eyes to see,
    And brain to understand,
    I think Life's mystery might be
    Solved in this grain of sand'...........Profound!(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Dr Tony BrahminDr Tony Brahmin (4/17/2018 1:54:00 AM)

    starry space. sand, immeasurable.. thank u..(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Henry TongHenry Tong (1/28/2018 10:40:00 AM)

    This reminds me of William Blake's celebrated verse: To see a world in a grain of sand/ and a heaven in a wild flower! Thought-provoking poem!(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Artie (11/15/2017 10:33:00 AM)

    Love you(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (12/5/2014 8:57:00 AM)

    From a single grain of sand the world sees the poet.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Greg Davison (10/4/2014 7:56:00 AM)

    Could anyone tell me if this is in the public domain and if there is a resource for checking?
    Thanks.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Zoila T. FloresZoila T. Flores (7/14/2014 8:51:00 PM)

    Oh Service! ! ! You made it,
    A thought in my mind to be born,
    With such a beautiful prose poem(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • * Sunprincess * (6/23/2014 8:46:00 PM)

    ........truly would love to know the answers to the mystery's of life....(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Thomas Vaughan JonesThomas Vaughan Jones (3/23/2014 2:37:00 PM)

    A grand philosophy. I don't usually promote my own poetry in this area, but this poem is remarkably like something I wrote long before I became aware of A Grain of Sand,
    Posted as

    The Predjudicial Planet.
    Check it out. I don't know whether it stands up to Service though. His poems have had more time to mature.(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Krishnakumar Chandrasekar NairKrishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (10/28/2013 10:54:00 AM)

    You are truly blessed among men
    To find such mystery in a grain of sand
    And to unravels secrets of the universe
    Today we are planning space ships grand
    When all that is to be known or worth knowing
    Is down here a grain of sand in the palm of our hand(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Taylor Taylor (5/17/2013 8:56:00 PM)

    My new favorite poem! !(Report)Reply

    8 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Stephen W (3/23/2013 1:39:00 PM)

    I think some of those who have criticised this poem on here are taking it a bit too literally.
    People should also bear in mind when it was written, a time when the popular consciousness was not really as au fait with the idea of many inhabited worlds as it is now.
    Obviously he used 'careen' to get a rhyme. In any case, I don't see why the Earth can't be considered to be 'rushing headlong'. It's certainly going fast enough.(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Jenna SabiaJenna Sabia (3/23/2012 1:34:00 PM)

    thats really good i like it alot!(Report)Reply

    12 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Carlos Echeverria (3/23/2012 10:47:00 AM)

    while round the earth careens alludes to Earth circling the sun, rotating on its axis-didn't we learn that in grade school science?
    Service is humbled as he ponders the enormity of the universe; and the notion that it may have all started with the tiniest of particles.(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • Udiah Witness to YAH (3/23/2012 8:01:00 AM)

    Even Robert himself does not deny the possibilities of many worlds, many life forms in this vast universe of ours. But even in this, even if every world is given its own god to watch over it, He still believes there be one Devine Deity that is over all. And with that said, maybe sometimes we allow life to get too complex, concentrating on the whole, when maybe simplification might just be the best way to answer our needs and the needs of others as we pass through this short lifetime of the flesh.(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • Aftab Alam KhursheedAftab Alam Khursheed (2/15/2012 9:11:00 AM)

    lovely poem and its a truth,(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
Read all 36 comments »




Read this poem in other languages

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: destiny, sun, god, life



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



[Report Error]