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Poem by Robert William Service
The porter in the Pullman car Was charming, as they sometimes are. He scanned my baggage tags: “Are you The man who wrote of Lady Lou?” When I said “yes” he made a fuss — Oh, he was most assiduous; And I was pleased to think that he Enjoyed my brand of poetry. He was forever at my call, So when we got to Montreal And he had brushed me off, I said: “I’m glad my poems you have read, I feel quite flattered, I confess, And if you give me your address I’ll send you (autographed, of course) One of my little books of verse.” He smiled — his teeth were white as milk; He spoke — his voice was soft as silk. I recognized, despite his skin, The perfect gentleman within. Then courteously he made reply: “I thank you kindly, Sir, but I With many other cherished tome Have all your books of verse at home. “When I was quite a little boy I used to savour them with joy; And now my daughter, aged three, Can tell the tale of Sam McGee; While Tom, my son, that’s only two, Has heard the yarn of Dan McGrew .... Don’t think your stuff I’m not applaudin’ — My taste is Eliot and Auden.” So as we gravely bade adieu I felt quite snubbed — and so would you. And yet I shook him by the hand, Impressed that he could understand The works of those two tops I mention, So far beyond my comprehension — A humble bard of boys and barmen, Disdained, alas! by Pullman carmen.
Robert William Service
Robert William Service's other poems:
English Poetry. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org