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Poem by Robert William Service


Old Ed


Our cowman, old Ed, hadn't much in his head,
And lots of folks though him a witling;
But he wasn't a fool, for he always kept cool,
And his sole recreation was whittling.
When I'd spill him my woes (ifantile, I suppose),
He'd harken and whittle and whittle;
then when I had done, turn his quid and say: "Son,
Ye're a-drownin' yerself in yer spittle."

He's gone to his grave, but the counsel he gave
I've proved in predicaments trying;
When I got in a stew, feeling ever so blue,
My failures and faults magnifying,
I'd think of old Ed as he sniffed and he said:
"Shaw! them things don't mater a tittle.
Ye darned little cuss, why make such a full?
Ye're a-drownin' yerself in yer spittle."

When you're tangled with care till you're up in the air,
And worry and fear have you quaking,
When each tiny trouble seems bigger than double,
Till mountains of mole-hills you're making:
Go easy, my friend, things click in the end,
But maybe 'twill help you a little,
If you take Ed's advise (though it may not sound nice):
Ye're a-drownin' yerself in yer spittle."



Robert William Service


Robert William Service's other poems:
  1. Pullman Porter
  2. The Three Voices
  3. Mammy
  4. Trees against the Sky
  5. Old Codger


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