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Rhymes of a Rolling Stone   By: (1874-1958)

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by Robert W. Service

[British born Canadian Poet 1874 1958.]

Author of "The Spell of the Yukon", "Ballads of a Cheechako", etc.

1912 edition, 1917 printing

[Some very minor changes have been made in spelling and punctuation after consulting another edition.]

I have no doubt at all the Devil grins, As seas of ink I spatter. Ye gods, forgive my "literary" sins The other kind don't matter.


Prelude A Rolling Stone The Soldier of Fortune The Gramaphone at Fond Du Lac The Land of Beyond Sunshine The Idealist Athabaska Dick Cheer The Return The Junior God The Nostomaniac Ambition To Sunnydale The Blind and the Dead The Atavist The Sceptic The Rover Barb Wire Bill "?" Just Think! The Lunger The Mountain and the Lake The Headliner and the Breadliner Death in the Arctic Dreams Are Best The Quitter The Cow Juice Cure While the Bannock Bakes The Lost Master Little Moccasins The Wanderlust The Trapper's Christmas Eve The World's All Right The Baldness of Chewed Ear The Mother The Dreamer At Thirty Five The Squaw Man Home and Love I'm Scared of it All A Song of Success The Song of the Camp Fire Her Letter The Man Who Knew The Logger The Passing of the Year The Ghosts Good Bye, Little Cabin Heart o' the North The Scribe's Prayer



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.

A Rolling Stone

There's sunshine in the heart of me, My blood sings in the breeze; The mountains are a part of me, I'm fellow to the trees. My golden youth I'm squandering, Sun libertine am I; A wandering, a wandering, Until the day I die.

I was once, I declare, a Stone Age man, And I roomed in the cool of a cave; I have known, I will swear, in a new life span, The fret and the sweat of a slave: For far over all that folks hold worth, There lives and there leaps in me A love of the lowly things of earth, And a passion to be free.

To pitch my tent with no prosy plan, To range and to change at will; To mock at the mastership of man, To seek Adventure's thrill. Carefree to be, as a bird that sings; To go my own sweet way; To reck not at all what may befall, But to live and to love each day.

To make my body a temple pure Wherein I dwell serene; To care for the things that shall endure, The simple, sweet and clean... Continue reading book >>

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