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Poem by Robert William Service


Two Husbands


Unpenitent, I grieve to state,
Two good men stood by heaven's gate,
Saint Peter coming to await.
The stopped the Keeper of the Keys,
Saying: "What suppliants are these,
Who wait me not on bended knees?

"To get my heavenly Okay
A man should have been used to pray,
Or suffered in some grievous way."

"Oh I have suffered," cried the first.
"Of wives I had the wicked worst,
Who made my life a plague accurst.

"Such martyrdom no tongue can tell;
In mercy's name it is not well
To doom me to another hell."

Saint Peter said: "I comprehend;
But tribulations have their end.
The gate is open,; go my friend."

Then said the second: "What of me?
More I deserve to pass than he,
For I've been wedded twice, you see."

Saint Peter looked at him a while,
And then he answered with a smile:
"Your application I will file.

"Yet twice in double yoke you've driven...
Though sinners with our Saints we leaven,
We don't take IMBECILES in heaven."



Robert William Service


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


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