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Poem by Robert William Service


The Widow


I don't think men of eighty odd
Should let a surgeon operate;
Better to pray for peace with God,
And reconcile oneself to Fate:
At four-score years we really should
Be quite prepared to go for good.

That's what I told my husband but
He had a hearty lust for life,
And so he let a surgeon cut
Into his innards with a knife.
The sawbones swore: "The man's so fat
His kidneys take some getting at."

And then (according to a nurse),
They heard him petulantly say:
"Adipose tissue is curse:
It's hard to pack them tripes away."
At last he did; sewed up the skin,
But left, some say, a swab within.

I do not doubt it could be so,
For Lester did not long survive.
But for mishap, I think with woe
My hubby might still be alive.
And while they praise the surgeon's skill,
My home I've sold--to pay his bill.



Robert William Service


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


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Robert Southey The Widow ("Cold was the night wind, drifting fast the snows fell")
  • Thomas Hardy The Widow ("By Mellstock Lodge and Avenue")

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