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Robert William Service (Роберт Уильям Сервис)


The Prisoner


Upspoke the culprit at the bar,
Conducting his own case:
'Your Lordship, I have gone to far,
But grant me of your grace.
As I was passing by a shop
I saw my arm go out,
And though I begged of it to stop,
It stole beyond a doubt.

'But why should my whole body be
Condemned to dungeon grim,
For what in fact was only the
Transgression of a limb?
So here before the Court I stand,
And beg in Justice' name:
Please penalise my arm and hand,
But not my frame.'

Outspoke the Judge with voice of ice,
Although a smile he hid:
'Quite right! You should not pay the price
For what one member did.
Your reasoning I must admit;
Your arm should gaol expect...
Three months! And if you follow it
The Court does not object.'

The culprit smiled with sudden charm,
Then to the Court's dismay,
Quickly removed a wooden arm
And went away.



Robert William Service's other poems:
  1. Weary
  2. My Childhood God
  3. At San Sebastian
  4. The Actor
  5. Prelude (They say that rhyme and rhythm are)


Poems of other poets with the same name (Стихотворения других поэтов с таким же названием):

  • Emily Brontë (Эмили Бронте) The Prisoner ("Still let my tyrants know, I am not doomed to wear")
  • Elizabeth Browning (Элизабет Браунинг) The Prisoner ("I count the dismal time by months and years")

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