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When I was brash and gallant-gay...

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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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All Entries 2002
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Published by Webmaster on 07/29/2003 (3102 reads)
Upon a rimed and rocky road Beneath an evil sky


Upon a rimed and rocky road
    Beneath an evil sky
I met a lilting lad who strode
    With laughter in his eyes.
Said I: "My boy, why do you sing
    When birds bide under wing?"

Said he: "I sing because I go
    To palms and golden sun,
To subjugate a rebel foe
    With bayonet and gun.
Tomorrow I'll be on the sea -
    That's why I sing," quoth he.

Said I: "I know that silver land,
    Its skies of blinding blue,
Its maidens waiting wreath in hand
    To give their lips to you."
Said he: "Their kisses I'll forego
    Until we rout the foe."

Said I: "You may met up with doom:
    Far better linger here."
He laughed: "I leave a sky of gloom
    For one of love and cheer.
Besides, in wars not one in ten
    Are killed of fighting men."

And now this morning in the Press
    His laughing face I see.
It gives me pain, I must confess -
    Just "mort pour la Patrie."
. . . No kiss for him beneath the sun:
    From ten Death chose the ONE.

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