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Read more poems by Robert Service: Robert Service Poems at Poetry X.

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Robert Service

I met upon a narrow way,
Dead weary from his toil,
A fellow warped and gnarled and grey,
Who reeked of sweat and soil.
His rags were readyful to rot,
His eyes were dreary dim;
Yet . . . yet I had the humble thought
To raise my hat to him. 

For thinks I: It's the likes of him
That makes the likes of me;
With horny hand and lagging limb
He slaves to keep me free;
That I may have a golden time,
And praise the Lord on high,
Life grinds into the bloody grime
A better man than I. 

Yet if in sheer humility
I yield this yokel place,
Will he not think it mockery
And spit into my face,
Saying: "How can you care a damn,
As now my way you bar,
When it's because of what I am,
You, Sir, are what you are?" 

But no, he did not speak like that,
Nor homage did I pay;
I did not lift my bowler hat
To greet his common clay;
Instead, he made me feel an ass,
As most respectfully
He stepped aside to let me pass,
And raised his cap to ME. 

Added: 29 Jun 2002 | Last Read: 13 Dec 2018 4:04 PM | Viewed: 6406 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/5224/ | Viewed on 13 December 2018.
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