Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

The Men That Don'T Fit In - Poem by Robert William Service

There's a race of men that don't fit in,
A race that can't stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain's crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don't know how to rest.

If they just went straight they might go far;
They are strong and brave and true;
But they're always tired of the things that are,
And they want the strange and new.
They say: "Could I find my proper groove,
What a deep mark I would make!"
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
Is only a fresh mistake.

And each forgets, as he strips and runs
With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It's the steady, quiet, plodding ones
Who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that's dead,
In the glare of the truth at last.

He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
He has just done things by half.
Life's been a jolly good joke on him,
And now is the time to laugh.
Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
He was never meant to win;
He's a rolling stone, and it's bred in the bone;
He's a man who won't fit in.

Comments about The Men That Don'T Fit In by Robert William Service

  • (9/20/2018 9:23:00 AM)

    My brothers friend for over 25 yrs read this at his funeral. This us who my brother was. (Report) Reply

    (9/22/2018 1:04:00 PM)

    This is me and this was my son, dead at 28, January 12,2017. I can relate so much to this. Bittersweet.

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Nivy Sochi (10/15/2017 1:20:00 PM)

    Irregular lines, good rhymes and profound theme. Elegant piece. (Report) Reply

  • (8/7/2014 3:08:00 PM)

    Reminds one of the Old-West American outlaws Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.
    Long live the men who don't fit in!
    (Report) Reply

  • (5/5/2014 7:21:00 PM)

    This poem is one of my favorites because they WON'Tfit in. (Report) Reply

  • Adi Cox (8/29/2009 2:27:00 PM)

    This poem haunts me. It is one of my favorite poems, but there are deep concerns. (Report) Reply

  • (6/18/2009 11:44:00 AM)

    I spent a long looking for this poem after hearing some of the lines on a TV show many years ago.I think is one of the best poems about free spirit that I have ever's in my top ten favorite poem list. (Report) Reply

    James Nesmith (7/18/2016 12:22:00 AM)

    I agree with you, but not the author's second half of the poem. If you are following the marrow in your bone, how are you failing?

Read all 8 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: change, truth, hope, lost, world, running

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]