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Poem by Robert William Service


The Reckoning


Its fine to have a blow-out in a fancy restaurant,
With terrapin and canvas-back and all the wine you want;
To enjoy the flowers and music, watch the pretty women pass,
Smoke a choice cigar, and sip the wealthy water in your glass.
Its bully in a high-toned joint to eat and drink your fill,
But its quite another matter when you
                                                                         Pay the bill.

Its great to go out every night on fun or pleasure bent;
To wear your glad rags always and to never save a cent;
To drift along regardless, have a good time every trip;
To hit the high spots sometimes, and to let your chances slip;
To know youre acting foolish, yet to go on fooling still,
Till Nature calls a show-down, and you
                                                                         Pay the bill.

Time has got a little bill  get wise while yet you may,
For the debit sides increasing in a most alarming way;
The things you had no right to do, the things you should have done,
Theyre all put down; its up to you to pay for every one.
So eat, drink and be merry, have a good time if you will,
But God help you when the time comes, and you
                                                                         Foot the bill.



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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