Robert William Service
Tea On The Lawn - Poem by Robert William Service
It was foretold by sybils three
that in an air crash he would die.
"I'll fool their prophesy," said he;
"You won't get me to go on high.
Howe're the need for haste and speed,
I'll never, never, never fly."
It's true he traveled everywhere,
Afar and near, by land and sea,
Yet he would never go by air
And chance an evil destiny.
Always by ship or rail he went -
For him no sky-plane accident.
Then one day walking on the heath
He watched a pilot chap on high,
And chuckled as he stood beneath
That lad a-looping in the sky.
Feeling so safe and full of glee
Serenely he went home to tea.
With buttered toast he told his wife:
"My dear, you can't say I've been rash;
Three fortune tellers said my life
Would end up in an air-plane crash.
But see! I'm here so safe and sound:
By gad! I'll never leave the ground.
"For me no baptism of air;
It's in my bed I mean to die.
Behold yon crazy fool up there,
A-cutting capers in the sky.
His motor makes a devilish din . . .
Look! Look! He's gone into a spin.
"He's dashing downward - "Oh my God!" . . .
Alas! he never finished tea.
The motor ploughed the garden sod
And in the crash a corpse was he:
Proving that no man can frustrate
The merciless design of Fate.
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