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Lost Shepherd Analysis

Author: poem of Robert Service Type: poem Views: 2

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Ah me! How hard is destiny!

If we could only know. . . .

I bought my son from Sicily

A score of years ago;

I haled him from our sunny vale

To streets of din and squalor,

And left it to professors pale

To make of him a scholar.

Had he remained a peasant lad,

A shepherd on the hill,

like golden faun in goatskin clad

He might be singing still;

He would have made the flock his care

And lept with gay reliance

On thymy heights, unwitting there

Was such a thing as science.

He would have crooned to his guitar,

Draughts of chianti drinking;

A better destiny by far

Than reading, writing, thinking.

So bent above his books was he,

His thirst for knowledge slaking,

He did not realize that we

Are worm-food in the making.

Ambition got him in its grip

And inched him to his doom;

Fate granted him a fellowship,

Then graved for him a tomb.

"Beneath my feet I can't allow

The grass to grow," he said;

And toiled so tirelessly that now

It grows above his head.

His honour scrolls shall feed the flame,

They mean no more to me;

His ashes I with bitter blame

Will take to Sicily.

And there I'll weep with heart bereft,

By groves and sunny rills,

And wish my laughing boy I'd left

A shepherd on the hills.


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