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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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The Palace

Published by Susan on 08/09/2003 (2697 reads)
Grimy men with picks and shovels...

Grimy men with picks and shovels
    Who in darkness sweat unseen,
Climb from out your lousy hovels,
    Build a palace for the Queen;
Praise the powers that be for giving
    You a chance to make a living.

Yet it would be better far
    Could you build with cosy lure
Skyey tenements where are
    Rabbit-warrens of the poor;
With a hope bright as a gem
    Some day you might live in them.

Could the Queen just say: 'A score
    Of rich palaces have I.
Do not make me any more,--
    Raise a hostel heaven-high;
House the hundreds who have need,
    To their misery give heed.'

Could she make this gesture fine
    To the pit where labour grovels,
Mother hearts would cease to pine,
    Weary men would wave their shovels.
All would cry with hope serene:
    'Little children, bless the Queen!'

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