Rhymes of a Rolling Stone

Robert W. Service


     I sing no idle songs of dalliance days,
     No dreams Elysian inspire my rhyming;
     I have no Celia to enchant my lays,
     No pipes of Pan have set my heart to chiming.
     I am no wordsmith dripping gems divine
     Into the golden chalice of a sonnet;
     If love songs witch you, close this book of mine,
         Waste no time on it.

     Yet bring I to my work an eager joy,
     A lusty love of life and all things human;
     Still in me leaps the wonder of the boy,
     A pride in man, a deathless faith in woman.
     Still red blood calls, still rings the valiant fray;
     Adventure beacons through the summer gloaming:
     Oh long and long and long will be the day
         Ere I come homing!

     This earth is ours to love: lute, brush and pen,
     They are but tongues to tell of life sincerely;
     The thaumaturgic Day, the might of men,
     O God of Scribes, grant us to grave them clearly!
     Grant heart that homes in heart, then all is well.
     Honey is honey-sweet, howe'er the hiving.
     Each to his work, his wage at evening bell
         The strength of striving.

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