Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Boon Soul - Poem by Robert William Service

Behold! I'm old; my hair is white;
My eighty years are in the offing,
And sitting by the fire to-night
I sip a grog to ease my coughing.
It's true I'm raucous as a rook,
But feeling bibulously "bardy,"
These lines I'm scribbling in a book:
The verse complete of Thomas Hardy.

Although to-day he's read by few,
Him have I loved beyond all measure;
So here to-night I riffle through
His pages with the oldtime pleasure;
And with this book upon my knee,
(To-day so woefully neglected)
I muse and think how soon I'll be
Myself among the Great Rejected.

Yet as these lines with zest I write,
Although the hour for me is tardy,
I think: "Of all the world to-night
'Tis I alone am reading Hardy";
And now to me he seems so nigh
I feel I commune with his spirit,
And as none love him more than I,
Thereby I gain a modest merit.

Oh Brother Thomas, glad I'll be,
Though all the world may pass unheeding,
If some greybeard con over me,
As I to-night your rhymes are reading;
Saying: "Old Bastard, you and I
By sin are knit in mind and body. . . ."
So ere to hit the hay I hie
Your ghost I'll toast in midnight toddy.


Comments about Boon Soul by Robert William Service

  • (4/17/2017 11:32:00 PM)


    A great poem honoring a genius by another equally great genius. Thanks for posting it here. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (4/17/2017 2:34:00 PM)


    I feel at home with rejection in this poem, I am glad I am not alone and no one cares for my work, but I'll keep the flame of my poetry burning, perhaps tomorrow I won't be alone!
    Leaking pen
    (Report) Reply

  • (4/17/2017 2:04:00 PM)


    He's venerating his hero in the best way, by writing a loving poem for him that will last for eternity etched in words. (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (4/17/2017 11:37:00 AM)


    This is wonderful poetry. There is no better time than to be with Hardy. My fav too. Enjoyed the poem.10+++ (Report) Reply

  • Alexander Julian (4/17/2017 10:16:00 AM)


    He has his way with the universe until something brings him up to his senses, since loneliness is great for him at this reading moment. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (4/17/2017 3:04:00 AM)


    Beyond all measure..... thanks for posting.... (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (4/17/2017 2:16:00 AM)


    Old-timers know the value of literary classics and the impression they leave on the reader's mind.
    Of all the world to-night
    'Tis I alone am reading Hardy;
    (Report) Reply

  • Tom Allport (4/17/2017 2:16:00 AM)


    a thoughtful poem of love and rejection? .....well written (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (4/17/2017 1:46:00 AM)


    Greybeard! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Robert Murray Smith (4/17/2017 12:48:00 AM)


    Boon Soul gives the soul to poetry. (Report) Reply

  • (9/9/2016 6:16:00 AM)


    interesting poem, i love this. (Report) Reply

Read all 11 comments »




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Read poems about / on: brother, night, hair, fire, world, alone



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Poem Edited: Friday, December 30, 2011


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