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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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Man Child

Published by Susan on 07/27/2003 (2936 reads)
All day he lay upon the sand...

All day he lay upon the sand
When summer sun was bright,
And let the grains sift through his hand
With infantile delight;
Just like a child, so soft  and fair,
Though he was twenty-five -
An innocent, my mother -care
Had kept so long alive.

Oh it is hard to bear a cross
For five-and-twenty years;
A daft son and a husband's loss
Are woes out-weighing tears.
Yet bright and beautiful was he,
Though barely could he walk;
And when he signaled out to sea
His talk was baby talk.

The man I loved was drowned out there
When we were ten weeks wed.
'Tis bitter hard a boy to bear
That's fathered by the dead.
And now I give my life to him
Because he needs me so;
And as I look my sight is dim
With pity, love and woe. . . .

Then suddenly I see him rise,
Tall, stalwart and serene . . .
Lo! There he stands before my eyes,
The man he might have been.

"Dear Mother mine," I hear him say,
"The curse that bound me fast,
Some miracle has swept away,
And all you pain is past.
Now I am strong and sane and free,
And you shall have your due;
For as you loved and cherished me,
I'll love and cherish you."

His kisses sooth away my pain,
His clasp is paradise . . .
Then - then I look at him again
With terror in my eyes:

For down he sinks upon the sand,
And heavy droops his head;
The golden grains drift through his hand . . .
I know - my boy is dead.


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