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Poem by Robert William Service


I Shall Not Burn


I have done with love and lust,
I reck not for gold or fame;
I await familiar dust
These frail fingers to reclaim:
Not for me the tiger flame.

Not for me the furnace glow,
Rage of fire and ashen doom;
To sweet earth my bones bestow
Where above a lowly tomb
January roses bloom.

Fools and fools and fools are you
Who your dears to fires confide;
Give to Mother Earth her due:
Flesh may waste but bone will bide,--
Let loved ones lie side by side.

Let God's Acre ever dream;
Shed your tears and blossoms bring;
On age-burnished bone will gleam
Crucifix and wedding ring:
Graves are for sweet comforting.

Curst be those who my remains
Hurl to horror of the flames!



Robert William Service


Robert William Service's other poems:
  1. Pullman Porter
  2. The Three Voices
  3. The Missal Makers
  4. Trees against the Sky
  5. The Search (Happiness, a-roving round)


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