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This poem is often wrongly thought to be by Robert W Service. It is published here to the memory of Hugh Antoine D'Arcy, its rightful father.
An Evening with the Bard of the Yukon, July 18 th 2003 at 20.30pm in the Town-Hall of Lancieux, Brittany.
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A Domestic Tragedy

Published by Susan on 07/25/2003 (4866 reads)
Clorinda met me on the way...

Alas! it is too true. Once more I am counting the coppers, living on the ragged edge. My manuscripts come back to me like boomerangs, and I have not the postage, far less the heart, to send them out again.

MacBean seems to take an interest in my struggles. I often sit in his room in the rue Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, smoking and sipping whisky into the small hours. He is an old hand, who knows the market and frankly manufactures for it.

"Give me short pieces," he says; "things of three verses that will fill a blank half-page of a magazine. Let them be sprightly, and, if possible, have a snapper at the end. Give me that sort of article. I think I can place it for you."

Then he looked through a lot of my verse: "This is the kind of stuff I might be able to sell," he said:

A Domestic Tragedy

Clorinda met me on the way
As I came from the train;
Her face was anything but gay,
In fact, suggested pain.
"Oh hubby, hubby dear!" she cried,
"I've awful news to tell. . . ."
"What is it, darling?" I replied;
"Your mother -- is she well?"

"Oh no! oh no! it is not that,
It's something else," she wailed,
My heart was beating pit-a-pat,
My ruddy visage paled.
Like lightning flash in heaven's dome
The fear within me woke:
"Don't say," I cried, "our little home
Has all gone up in smoke!"

She shook her head. Oh, swift I clasped
And held her to my breast;
"The children! Tell me quick," I gasped,
"Believe me, it is best."
Then, then she spoke; 'mid sobs I caught
These words of woe divine:
"It's coo-coo-cook has gone and bought
A new hat just like mine. "

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