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Poem by Robert William Service


An Old Story


   (Retold in Rhyme)

They threw him in a prison cell;
He moaned upon his bed.
And when he crept from coils of hell:
"Last night you killed," they said.

"last night in drunken rage you slew
A being brave with breath;
A radiant soul, because of you
Lies dark in death."

"last night I killed," he moaned distraught,
"When I was wild with wine;
I slew, and I remember naught...
O Mother, Mother mine!

"To what unbridled rage may lead
You taught me at your knew.
Why did I not your warning heed...
And now; the gallows tree.

"O Mother, Mother, come to me,
For I am sore distrest,
And I would kneel beside your knee
And weep upon your breast..."

They stared at him; their lips were dumb,
Their eyes tear filled;
Then spoke the Priest: "She cannot come...
'Twas she you killed."



Robert William Service


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


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Edwin Robinson An Old Story ("STRANGE that I did not know him then")

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