Robert William Service--Words

Robert William Service was born in Preston, Lancashire, England. After spending his childhood in Scotland he came to Canada in 1894, working for the Canadian Bank of Commerce in the Yukon for eight years.

He is world reknown for penning "The Shooting of Dan McGrew", The Cremation of Sam McGee", The Call of the Wild" and "The Spell of the Yukon" .

Less well known, but worthy of note are three other poems: "The Quitter", "Carry On!" and "Just Think!"  He was a newspaper correspondent for the Toronto Star during the Balkin Wars of 1912-13 and served as an ambulance driver and correspondent during World War I.

From 1914 on he lived in Europe, returning to Canada during WWII, to live in Hollywood and Vancouver, then again living in Brittany and on the French Riviera. He died in Lancieux, France.




If on isle of the sea
I have to tarry,
With one book, let it be
A Dictionary.
For though I love life's scene,
It seems absurd,
My greatest joy has been
The printed word.

Though painter with delight
May colours blend,
They are but in his sight
Means to an end.
Yet while I harmonise
Or pattern them,
A precious word I prize
Like to a gem.

A fiddler lures fine tone
From gut and wood;
A sculptor from stark stone
Shapes godlihood.
But let me just caress,
Like silver birds,
For their own loveliness--
Bewitching words.


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