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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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Paternity

Published by Webmaster on 07/29/2003 (2416 reads)
When I was very young and gay

Paternity

When I was very young and gay
    And raffish life I led,
I put Jill in a family way,
    And so we had to wed.
But now my life's a fear and fret
    For we've a brood of five,
And I will have to toil and sweat
    So long as I'm alive.

And that's the way we lads are caught
    And nevermore win free;
'Twere better far to toss the pot
    And leave the lassies be.
There may be in a lush of ale
    A headache for a day,
But matrimony can entail
    An aching head for aye.

The hell of it's they hold your heart,
    Them kiddies you gave breath;
To let them have a decent start
    You slave yourself to death.
And are they grateful? I'll say no:
    To hearth-fires of their own
With haste self-seeking they go
    And leave you all alone.

So Sons of Sweat, forbear to breed;
    Just leave it to the Rich;
Your boy in brutal war may bleed,
    Your girl may be a bitch.
And though like other stiffs you mate,
    Thank Heaven for its grace,
You've no need to perpetuate
    This lousy human race.


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