Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

A Hero - Poem by Robert William Service

Three times I had the lust to kill,
To clutch a throat so young and fair,
And squeeze with all my might until
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Comments about A Hero by Robert William Service

  • Chinedu Dike (1/14/2017 7:44:00 PM)

    Beautiful rendition of words to utmost justice. (Report) Reply

    9 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • (10/21/2016 5:45:00 AM)

    I am told that in war that sometimes the most conflicted and dark individuals engage in heroic sacrifices just like this character does. Powerful. (Report) Reply

  • Ella Rose (4/21/2016 12:34:00 PM)

    so deep and powerful Robert..wonderfully written :) ~ellarose~ (Report) Reply

  • (12/7/2015 3:14:00 PM)

    anger coming from within (Report) Reply

  • (8/4/2015 8:12:00 AM)

    Very dramatic and imaginative. A nice read. (Report) Reply

  • (1/22/2015 2:37:00 PM)

    Nicw (Report) Reply

  • Savita Tyagi (7/13/2014 4:30:00 PM)

    A dramatic portrayal of an emotionally disturbed person. mind plays with all kind of thoughts. Only link between murder and suicide can be when rational is totally defeated. (Report) Reply

  • Jayatissa K. Liyanage (7/13/2014 10:48:00 AM)

    Very well versed to bring the reader to a climax in sentiments of a depressed heart. Hope the writing by itself was successful in flushing off the demon within. Great poem. (Report) Reply

  • (7/13/2013 7:21:00 PM)

    Real troubled emotional poem of a person. (Report) Reply

  • (7/13/2013 7:02:00 PM)

    How precious are your words with deep emotion...I could see the picture you painted...I could feel your very breath! ! thank you for sharing (Report) Reply

  • (7/13/2013 12:36:00 PM)

    Suicidal tendency is bad, but the poem is good. (Report) Reply

  • (7/13/2013 9:18:00 AM)

    Another way of saying that our greatest battles are within. (Report) Reply

  • Taiwo Lasisi (7/13/2013 5:51:00 AM)

    I pray not
    To have that thirst
    I'd be nut
    If I did that lest
    (Report) Reply

  • Sylva Portoian (7/13/2013 5:07:00 AM)

    William...I can sing with you, , , Robert the Hero
    Your poem is a real true...
    I can sing with you...
    And pray not to do what you poeted...! ! !
    (Report) Reply

  • (7/13/2012 9:29:00 AM)

    The dramatic monologue of 'A Hero' by Robert William Service is a rapid paced exciting read. The expected hero the title foreshadows, immediately twists in the first lines, with a confession of the lust to kill, the speaker describes. The interesting description of the mental battle in the mind between good and evil thoughts extends into the second stanza.
    The speaker is mad, 'Three times' already he has driven 'the lust to kill' out, but he knows 'beyond a doubt' the demon desire to kill will get him yet. The dilemma extends; confess to madness, let doctors care for him, confined 'in a padded cell/ And never, never set me free'. The speaker is young and cannot face a life imprisoned in an insane asylum, thus 'there is but one thing to do.'
    Excitement builds within the tension mounting abab end rhyme scheme. The speaker grips the reader with 'Three times I beat the foul fiend back; / The fourth, I know he will prevail'. The suicide scene is described like the script in an action packed cinematic silent movie screen; the train sighted in the distance, his head laid upon the rail, the thunder of the trains approach roars in his ears, the train coming to crush his 'cursed brain... '. The fear expressed in the desperate scream 'Oh God, have mercy on my soul! '
    The poem is written to entertain yet the title intrigues. It plays upon the concept of what is a hero and justified suicide, contrasted with the Biblical suicide as a sin. Does insanity pardon suicide? Surely proven insanity must yet, the plea to God to save his soul, implies the speaker fears and knows what he is doing. His suicide saves the lives of those he would have killed in his insanity, heroes save lives, the intrigue in the dramatic ending continues. A quite exceptional poem.
    (Report) Reply

  • Jacob Bearer (7/13/2012 7:26:00 AM)

    ''Verse, not poetry, is what I was after... something the man in the street would take notice of and the sweet old lady would paste in her album; something the schoolboy would spout and the fellow in the pub would quote. Yet I never wrote to please anyone but myself; it just happened. I belonged to the simple folks whom I liked to please'' (Robert William Service) . (Report) Reply

  • Osama Waqar (7/13/2012 5:19:00 AM)

    just beautiful......... (Report) Reply

  • (7/16/2010 1:14:00 AM)

    Many a hero having heard too much and understood too little, staring romantically at the moon and dark sky.
    Such sacrifice should run incomparable in all the land, only as unexplored.

    If it were you, do you see yourself in his place?
    (Report) Reply

  • (7/15/2010 10:30:00 AM)

    I agree it's a topic worth exploring but I found the poem a little too contrived and pat. I doubt if many of the mentally disturbed are as analytical as the Hero. It's also not quite clear why Service considers him a hero - the fact that he committed suicide before murder? This needs more explanation. Service was an unusual writer; many of his best poems are really short stories in verse. I suspect had he been forced to write this in prose, he would have quickly found a lot of complications which he has surpressed in this condensed version. (Report) Reply

  • (7/13/2010 11:49:00 AM)

    One real haunting poem of emotional turmoil. (Report) Reply

# 174 poem on top 500 Poems

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