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Stamp Collector Analysis

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

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My worldly wealth I hoard in albums three,

My life collection of rare postage stamps;

My room is cold and bare as you can see,

My coat is old and shabby as a tramp's;

Yet more to me than balances in banks,

My albums three are worth a million francs.

I keep them in that box beside my bed,

For who would dream such treasures it could hold;

But every day I take them out and spread

Each page, to gloat like miser o'er his gold:

Dearer to me than could be child or wife,

I would defend them with my very life.

They are my very life, for every night

over my catalogues I pore and pore;

I recognize rare items with delight,

Nothing I read but philatelic lore;

And when some specimen of choice I buy,

In all the world there's none more glad than I.

Behold my gem, my British penny black;

To pay its price I starved myself a year;

And many a night my dinner I would lack,

But when I bought it, oh, what radiant cheer!

Hitler made war that day - I did not care,

So long as my collection he would spare.

Look - my triangular Cape of Good Hope.

To purchase it I had to sell my car.

Now in my pocket for some sous I grope

To pay my omnibus when home is far,

And I am cold and hungry and footsore,

In haste to add some beauty to my store.

This very day, ah, what a joy was mine,

When in a dingy dealer's shop I found

This franc vermillion, eighteen forty-nine . . .

How painfully my heart began to pound!

(It's weak they say), I paid the modest price

And tremblingly I vanished in a trice.

But oh, my dream is that some day of days,

I might discover a Mauritius blue,

poking among the stamp-bins of the quais;

Who knows! They say there are but two;

Yet if a third one I should spy,

I think - God help me! I should faint and die. . . .

Poor Monsieur Pns, he's cold and dead,

One of those stamp-collecting cranks.

His garret held no crust of bread,

But albums worth a million francs.

on them his income he would spend,

By philatelic frenzy driven:

What did it profit in the end. . .

You can't take stamps to Heaven.


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