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Poem by Robert William Service


Portrait (Painter, would you make my picture?)


Painter, would you make my picture?
Just forget the moral stricture.
Let me sit
With my belly to the table,
Swilling all the wine I'm able,
Pip a-lit;
Not a stiff and stuffy croaker
In a frock coat and a choker
Let me be;
But a rollicking old fellow
With a visage ripe and mellow
As you see.

Just a twinkle-eyed old codger,
And of death as artful dodger,
Such I am;
I defy the Doc's advising
And I don't for sermonising
Care a damn.
Though Bill Shakespeare had in his dome
Both; I'd rather wit than wisdom
For my choice;
In the glug glug of the bottle,
As I tip it down my throttle,
I rejoice.

Paint me neither sour not soulful,
For I would not have folks doleful
When I go;
So if to my shade you're quaffing
I would rather see you laughing,
As you know.
In Life's Great Experiment
I'll have heaps of merriment
E're I pass;
And though devil beckons me,
And I've many a speck on me,
Maybe some will recon me -
Worth a glass.



Robert William Service


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


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