English Poet and Writer, known as "the Bard of the Yukon"
Robert Service, fully Robert William Service
English Poet and Writer, known as "the Bard of the Yukon"
When young I was an Atheist,
Yea, pompous as a pigeon
No opportunity I missed
To satirize religion.
I sneered at Scripture, scoffed at Faith,
I blasphemed at believers:
Said I: "There's nothing after Death,--
Your priests are just deceivers."
In middle age I was not so
Contemptuous and caustic.
Thought I: "There's much I do not know:
I'd better be agnostic.
The hope of immortality
'Tis foolish to be flouting."
So in the end I came to be
A doubter of my doubting.
Now I am old, with steps inclined
To hesitate and falter;
I find I get such peace of mind
Just sitting by an altar.
So Friends, don't scorn the family pew,
The preachments of the kirks:
Religion may be false or true,
But by the Lord!--it works.
The Lure of Little Voices -
There's a cry from out the loneliness–oh, listen, Honey, listen!
Do you hear it, do you fear it, you're a-holding of me so?
You're a-sobbing in your sleep, dear, and your lashes, how they glisten–
Do you hear the Little Voices all a-begging me to go?
All a-begging me to leave you. Day and night they're pleading, praying,
On the North-wind, on the West-wind, from the peak and from the plain;
Night and day they never leave me–do you know what they are saying?
'He was ours before you got him, and we want him once again.'
Yes, they're wanting me, they're haunting me, the awful lonely places;
They're whining and they're whimpering as if each had a soul;
They're calling from the wilderness, the vast and God-like spaces,
The stark and sullen solitudes that sentinel the Pole.
They miss my little camp-fires, ever brightly, bravely gleaming
In the womb of desolation, where was never man before;
As comradeless I sought them, lion-hearted, loving, dreaming,
And they hailed me as a comrade, and they loved me evermore.
And now they're all a-crying, and it's no use me denying;
The spell of them is on me and I'm helpless as a child;
My heart is aching, aching, but I hear them, sleeping, waking;
It's the Lure of Little Voices, it's the mandate of the wild.
I'm afraid to tell you, Honey, I can take no bitter leaving;
But softly in the sleep-time from your love I'll steal away.
Oh, it's cruel, dearie, cruel, and it's God knows how I'm grieving;
But His Loneliness is calling, and He knows I must obey.
The Law of the Yukon -
This is the law of the Yukon, and ever she makes it plain:
'Send not your foolish and feeble; send me your strong and your sane
Strong for the red rage of battle; sane, for I harry them sore;
Send me men girt for the combat, men who are grit to the core;
Swift as the panther in triumph, fierce as the bear in defeat,
Sired of a bulldog parent, steeled in the furnace heat.
Send me the best of your breeding, lend me your chosen ones;
Them will I take to my bosom, them will I call my sons;
Them will I gild with my treasure, them will I glut with my meat;
But the others–the misfits, the failures–I trample under my feet.
Dissolute, damned and despairful, crippled and palsied and slain,
Ye would send me the spawn of your gutters–Go! take back your spawn again.
'Wild and wide are my borders, stern as death is my sway;
From my ruthless throne I have ruled alone for a million years and a day;
Hugging my mighty treasure, waiting for man to come,
Till he swept like a turbid torrent, and after him swept–the scum.
The pallid pimp of the dead-line, the enervate of the pen,
One by one I weeded them out, for all that I sought was–Men.
One by one I dismayed them, frighting them sore with my glooms;
One by one I betrayed them unto my manifold dooms.
Drowned them like rats in my rivers, starved them like curs on my plains,
Rotted the flesh that was left them, poisoned the blood in their veins;
Burst with my winter upon them, searing forever their sight,
Lashed them with fungus-white faces, whimpering wild in the night;
Staggering blind through the storm-whirl, stumbling mad through the snow,
Frozen stiff in the ice-pack, brittle and bent like a bow;
Featureless, formless, forsaken, scented by wolves in their flight,
Left for the wind to make music through ribs that are glittering white;
Gnawing the black crust of failure, searching the pit of despair,
Crooking the toe in the trigger, trying to patter a prayer;
Going outside with an escort, raving with lips all afoam,
Writing a cheque for a million, driveling feebly of home;
Lost like a louse in the burning . . . or else in the tented town
Seeking a drunkard's solace, sinking and sinking down;
Steeped in the slime at the bottom, dead to a decent world,
Lost 'mid the human flotsam, far on the frontier hurled;
In the camp at the bend of the river, with its dozen saloons aglare,
Its gambling dens a-riot, its gramophones all ablare;
Crimped with the crimes of a city, sin-ridden and bridled with lies,
In the hush of my mountained vastness, in the flush of my midnight skies.
Plague-spots, yet tools of my purpose, so natheless I suffer them thrive,
Crushing my Weak in their clutches, that only my Strong may survive.
'But the others, the men of my mettle, the men who would 'stablish my fame
Unto its ultimate issue, winning me honor, not shame;
Searching my uttermost valleys, fighting each step as they go,
Shooting the wrath of my rapids, scaling my ramparts of snow;
Ripping the guts of my mountains, looting the beds of my creeks,
Them will I take to my bosom, and speak as a mother speaks.
I am the land that listens, I am the land that broods;
Steeped in eternal beauty, crystalline waters and woods.
Long have I waited lonely, shunned as a thing accurst,
Monstrous, moody, pathetic, the last of the lands and the first;
Visioning camp-fires at twilight, sad with a longing forlorn,
Feeling my womb o'er-pregnant with the seed of cities unborn.
Wild and wide are my borders, stern as death is my sway,
And I wait for the men who will win me–and I will not be won in a day;
And I will not be won by weaklings, subtile, suave and mild,
But by men with the hearts of Vikings, and the simple faith of a child;
Desperate, strong and resistless, unthrottled by fear or defeat,
Them will I gild with my treasure, them will I glut with my meat.
'Lofty I stand from each sister land, patient and wearily wise,
With the weight of a world of sadness in my quiet, passionless eyes;
Dreaming alone of a people, dreaming alone of a day,
When men shall not rape my riches, and curse me and go away;
Making a bawd of my bounty, fouling the hand that gave–
Till I rise in my wrath and I sweep on their path and I stamp them into a grave.
Dreaming of men who will bless me, of women esteeming me good,
Of children born in my borders of radiant motherhood,
Of cities leaping to stature, of fame like a flag unfurled,
As I pour the tide of my riches in the eager lap of the world.'
This is the Law of the Yukon, that only the Strong shall thrive;
That surely the Weak shall perish, and only the Fit survive.
Dissolute, damned and despairful, crippled and palsied and slain,
This is the Will of the Yukon,–Lo, how she makes it plain!
The Call of the Wild -
Have you gazed on naked grandeur where there's nothing else to gaze on,
Set pieces and drop-curtain scenes galore,
Big mountains heaved to heaven, which the blinding sunsets blazon,
Black canyons where the rapids rip and roar?
Have you swept the visioned valley with the green stream streaking through it,
Searched the Vastness for a something you have lost?
Have you strung your soul to silence? Then for God's sake go and do it;
Hear the challenge, learn the lesson, pay the cost.
Have you wandered in the wilderness, the sagebrush desolation,
The bunch-grass levels where the cattle graze?
Have you whistled bits of rag-time at the end of all creation,
And learned to know the desert's little ways?
Have you camped upon the foothills, have you galloped o'er the ranges,
Have you roamed the arid sun-lands through and through?
Have you chummed up with the mesa? Do you know its moods and changes?
Then listen to the wild–it's calling you.
Have you known the Great White Silence, not a snow-gemmed twig aquiver?
(Eternal truths that shame our soothing lies.)
Have you broken trail on snowshoes? mushed your huskies up the river,
Dared the unknown, led the way, and clutched the prize?
Have you marked the map's void spaces, mingled with the mongrel races,
Felt the savage strength of brute in every thew?
And though grim as hell the worst is, can you round it off with curses?
Then hearken to the wild–it's wanting you.
Have you suffered, starved and triumphed, grovelled down, yet grasped at glory,
Grown bigger in the bigness of the whole?
'Done things' just for the doing, letting babblers tell the story,
Seeing through the nice veneer the naked soul?
Have you seen God in His splendours, heard the text that nature renders?
(You'll never hear it in the family pew.)
The simple things, the true things, the silent men who do things–
Then listen to the wild–it's calling you.
They have cradled you in custom, they have primed you with their preaching,
They have soaked you in convention through and through;
They have put you in a showcase; you're a credit to their teaching–
But can't you hear the wild?–it's calling you.
Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us;
Let us journey to a lonely land I know.
There's a whisper on the night-wind, there's a star agleam to guide us,
And the wild is calling, calling . . . . let us go.
The Quitter -
When you're lost in the Wild, and you're scared as a child,
And Death looks you bang in the eye,
And you're sore as a boil, it’s according to Hoyle
To cock your revolver and . . . die.
But the Code of a Man says: "Fight all you can,"
And self-dissolution is barred.
In hunger and woe, oh, it’s easy to blow . . .
It’s the hell-served-for-breakfast that’s hard.
"You're sick of the game!" Well, now that’s a shame.
You're young and you're brave and you're bright.
"You've had a raw deal!" I know — but don't squeal,
Buck up, do your damnedest, and fight.
It’s the plugging away that will win you the day,
So don't be a piker, old pard!
Just draw on your grit, it’s so easy to quit.
It’s the keeping-your chin-up that’s hard.
It’s easy to cry that you're beaten — and die;
It’s easy to crawfish and crawl;
But to fight and to fight when hope’s out of sight —
Why that’s the best game of them all!
And though you come out of each gruelling bout,
All broken and battered and scarred,
Just have one more try — it’s dead easy to die,
It’s the keeping-on-living that’s hard.
I wrote a poem to the moon
But no one noticed it;
Although I hoped that late or soon
Someone would praise a bit
Its purity and grace forlone,
Its beauty tulip-cool...
But as my poem died still-born,
I felt a fool.
I wrote a verse of vulgar trend
Spiced with an oath or two;
I tacked a snapper at the end
And called it Dan McGrew.
I spouted it to bar-room boys,
Full fifty years away;
Yet still with rude and ribald noise
It lives today.
'Tis bitter truth, but there you are-
That's how a name is made;
Write of a rose, a lark, a star,
You'll never make the grade.
But write of gutter and of grime,
Of pimp and prostitute,
The multitude will read your rhyme,
And pay to boot.
So what's the use to burn and bleed
And strive for beauty's sake?
No one your poetry will read,
Your heart will only break.
But set your song in vulgar pitch,
If rhyme you will not rue,
And make your heroine a bitch...
Like Lady Lou.
Some praise the Lord for Light,
The living spark;
I thank God for the Night
The healing dark.
My pipe is out, my glass is dry;
My fire is almost ashes too;
But once again, before you go,
And I prepare to meet the New;
Old Year! a parting word that's true,
For we've been comrades, you and I--
I thank God for each day of you;
There! bless you now! Old Year, good-bye!
There’s a land where the mountains are nameless,
And the rivers all run God knows where;
There are lives that are erring and aimless,
And deaths that just hang by a hair;
There are hardships that nobody reckons;
There are valleys unpeopled and still;
There’s a land — oh, it beckons and beckons,
And I want to go back — and I will.
Oh you who are shy of the popular eye,
(Though most of us seek to survive it)
Just think of the goldfish who wanted to die
Because she could never be private.
There are pebbles and reeds for aquarium needs
Of eel and of pike who are bold fish;
But who gives a thought to a sheltering spot
For the sensitive soul of a goldfish?
So the poor little thing swam around in a ring,
In a globe of a crystalline crudity;
Swam round and swam round, but no refuge she found
From the public display of her nudity;
No weedy retreat for a cloister discreet,
From the eye of the mob to exempt her;
Can you wonder she paled, and her appetite failed,
Till even a fly couldn't tempt her?
I watched with dismay as she faded away;
Each day she grew slimmer and slimmer.
From an amber hat burned, to a silver she turned
Then swiftly was dimmer and dimmer.
No longer she gleamed, like a spectre she seemed,
One morning I anxiously sought her:
I only could stare - she no longer was there . . .
She'd simply dissolved in the water.
So when you behold bright fishes of gold,
In globes of immaculate purity;
Just think how they'd be more contented and free
If you gave them a little obscurity.
And you who make laws, get busy because
You can brighten he lives of untold fish,
If its sadness you note, and a measure promote
To Ensure Private Life For The Goldfish.
Lolling on a bank of thyme
Drunk with Spring I made this rhyme. . . .
Though peoples perish in defeat,
And races suffer to survive,
The sunshine never was so sweet,
So vast he joy to be alive;
The laughing leaves, the glowing grass
Proclaim how good it is to be;
The pines are lyric as I pass,
The hills hosannas sing to me.
Pink roses ring yon placid palm,
Soft shines the blossom of the peach;
The sapphire sea is satin calm,
With bell-like tinkle on the beach;
A lizard lazes in the sun,
A bee is bumbling to my hand;
Shy breezes whisper: "You are one
With us because you understand."
Yea, I am one with all I see,
With wind and wave, with pine and palm;
Their very elements in me
Are fused to make me what I am.
Through me their common life-stream flows,
And when I yield this human breath,
In leaf and blossom, bud and rose,
Live on I will . . . There is no Death.
Oh, let me flee from woeful things,
And listen to the linnet's song;
To solitude my spirit clings,
To sunny woodlands I belong.
O foolish men! Yourselves destroy.
But I from pain would win surcease. . . .
O Earth, grant me eternal joy!
O Nature - everlasting peace!
If I could practise what I preach,
Of fellows there would few be finer;
If I were true to what I teach
My life would be a lot diviner.
If I would act the way I speak,
Of halo I might be a winner:
The spirit wills, the flesh is weak,--
I'm just a simple sinner.
Six days I stray,--on number seven
I try to be a little better,
And stake a tiny claim on Heaven
By clinging close to gospel letter.
My pew I occupy on Sunday,
And though I draw the line at snoring,
I must admit I long for Monday,
And find the sermon boring.
Although from godly grace I fall,
For sensed with sin my every act is,
'Twere better not to preach at all,
Then I would have no need to practice.
So Sabbath day I'll sneak away,
And though the Church grieve my defection,
In sunny woodland I will pray:
"God save us from Perfection!"
To tribulations of mankind
Dame Nature is indifferent;
To human sorrow she is blind,
And deaf to human discontent.
Mid fear and fratricidal fray,
Mid woe and tyranny of toil,
She goes her unregarding way
Of sky and sun and soil.
In leaf and blade, in bud and bloom
Exultantly her gladness glows,
And careless of Man's dreary doom
Around the palm she wreathes the rose;
Creating beauty everywhere,
With happy bird in holy song . . .
Please God, let us be unaware
Like her of wrath and wrong.
Let us too be indifferent,
And in her hands our fate resign;
Aye, though the world with rage is rent
Let us be placid as the pine.
For if we turn from greed and guile
Maybe Dame Nature will relent,
And bless us with her lovely smile
Of comfort and content.
Who is it talks of sleeping? I'll swear that somebody shook
Me hard by the arm for a moment, but how on earth could it be?
See how my feet are moving--awfully funny they look--
Moving as if they belonged to a someone that wasn't me.
The wind down the night's long alley bowls me down like a pin;
I stagger and fall and stagger, crawl arm-deep in the snow.
Beaten back to my corner, how can I hope to win?
And there is the blizzard waiting to give me the knockout blow.
Oh, I'm so warm and sleepy! No more hunger and pain.
Just to rest for a moment; was ever rest such a joy?
Ha! what was that? I'll swear it, somebody shook me again;
Somebody seemed to whisper: "Fight to the last, my boy."
Fight! That's right, I must struggle. I know that to rest means death;
Death, but then what does death mean? --ease from a world of strife.
Life has been none too pleasant; yet with my failing breath
Still and still must I struggle, fight for the gift of life.
School yourself to savour most
Joys that have but little cost;
Prove the best of life is free,
Sun and stars and sky and sea;
Eager in your eyes to please,
Proffer meadows, brooks and trees;
Nature strives for your content,
Never charging you a cent.
Learn to love a garden gay,
Flowers and fruit in rich array.
Care for dogs and singing birds,
Have for children cheery words.
Find plain food and comfort are
More than luxury by far.
Music, books and honest friends
Outweigh golden dividends.
Love your work and do it well,
Scorning not a leisure spell.
Hold the truest form of wealth
Body fit and ruddy health.
Let your smile of happiness
Rustic peace serenely stress:
Home to love and heart to pray--
Thank your God for every day.
I Laugh at Life: its antics make for me a giddy games,
Where only foolish fellows take themselves with solemn aim.
I laugh at pomp and vanity, at riches, rank and pride;
At social inanity, at swager, swank and side.
At poets, pastry-cooks and kings, at folk sublime and small,
Who fuss about a thousand things that matter not at all;
At those who dream of name and fame, at those who scheme for pelf. . . .
But best of all the laughing game - is laughing at myself.
Some poet chap had labelled man the noblest work of God:
I see myself a charlatan, a humbug and a fraud.
Yea, 'spite of show and shallow wit, an sentimental drool,
I know myself a hypocrite, a coward and a fool.
And though I kick myself with glee profoundly on the pants,
I'm little worse, it seems to me, than other human ants.
For if you probe your private mind, impervious to shame,
Oh, Gentle Reader, you may find you're much about the same.
Then let us mock with ancient mirth this comic, cosmic plan;
The stars are laughing at the earth; God's greatest joke is man.
For laughter is a buckler bright, and scorn a shining spear;
So let us laugh with all our might at folly, fraud and fear.
Yet on our sorry selves be spent our most sardonic glee.
Oh don't pay life a compliment to take is seriously.
For he who can himself despise, be surgeon to the bone,
May win to worth in others' eyes, to wisdom in his own.
The height of wisdom seems to me
That of a child;
So let my ageing vision be
Serene and mild.
The depth of folly, I aver,
Is to fish deep
In that dark pool of science where
Let me not be a bearded sage
Seeing too clear;
In issues of the atom age
Man-doom I fear.
So long as living's outward show
To me is fair,
What lies behind I do not know,
And do not care.
Of woeful fears of future ill
That earth-folk haunt,
Let me, as radiant meadow rill,
Aye, though a sorry dunce I be
In learning's school,
Lord, marvellously make of me
Your Happy Fool!
Oh happy he who cannot see
With scientific eyes;
Who does not know how flowers grow,
And is not planet wise;
Content to find with simple mind
Joys as they are:
To whom a rose is just a rose,
A star--a star.
It is not good, I deem, to brood
On things beyond our ken;
A rustic I would live and die,
Aloof from learned men;
And laugh and sing with zest of Spring
In life's exultant scene,--
For vain my be philosophy,
And what does meaning mean?
I'm talking rot,--I'm really not
As dumb as I pretend;
But happiness, I dimly guess,
Is what counts in the end.
To educate is to dilate
The nerves of pain:
So let us give up books and live
Like hinds again.
The best of wisdom surely is
To be not overwise;
For may not thought be evil fraught,
And truth less kind than lies?
So let me praise the golden days
I played a gay guitar,
And deemed a rose was just a rose,
A star--a star.
When I am dead I will not care
If sky be radiantly fair
Or tempest roar.
If my life-hoard in sin be spent,
My wife re-wed,--
I'll be so damned indifferent
When I am dead.
When I meet up with dusty doom
What if I rest
In common ditch or marble tomb,
If curst or blest?
Shall my seed be to wealth or fame,
Or gallows led,--
To me it will be all the same
When I am dead.
So say for me no pious prayer,
Be no tear shed;
In nothingness I cannot care,
I'll be so dead.
I shall not reck of war or peace
When I go hence:
Lord, let me win sublime release,--
I had a bitter enemy,
His heart to hate he gave,
And when I died he swore that he
Would dance upon my grave;
That he would leap and laugh because
A livid corpse was I,
And that's the reason why I was
In no great haste to die.
And then - such is the quirk of fate,
One day with joy I read,
Despite his vitalizing hate
My enemy was dead.
Maybe the poison in his heart
Had helped to haste his doom:
He was not spared till I depart
To spit upon my tomb.
The other day I chanced to go
To where he lies alone.
'Tis easy to forgive a foe
When he is dead and gone. . . .
Poor devil! Now his day is done,
(Though bright it was and brave,)
Yet I am happy there is none
To dance upon my grave.
I'm goin' 'ome to Blighty -- ain't I glad to 'ave the chance!
I'm loaded up wiv fightin', and I've 'ad my fill o' France;
I'm feelin' so excited-like, I want to sing and dance,
For I'm goin' 'ome to Blighty in the mawnin'.
I'm goin' 'ome to Blighty: can you wonder as I'm gay?
I've got a wound I wouldn't sell for 'alf a year o' pay;
A harm that's mashed to jelly in the nicest sort o' way,
For it takes me 'ome to Blighty in the mawnin'.
'Ow everlastin' keen I was on gettin' to the front!
I'd ginger for a dozen, and I 'elped to bear the brunt;
But Cheese and Crust! I'm crazy, now I've done me little stunt,
To sniff the air of Blighty in the mawnin'.
I've looked upon the wine that's white, and on the wine that's red;
I've looked on cider flowin', till it fairly turned me 'ead;
But oh, the finest scoff will be, when all is done and said,
A pint o' Bass in Blighty in the mawnin'.
I'm goin' back to Blighty, which I left to strafe the 'Un;
I've fought in bloody battles, and I've 'ad a 'eap of fun;
But now me flipper's busted, and I think me dooty's done,
And I'll kiss me gel in Blighty in the mawnin'.
Oh, there be furrin' lands to see, and some of 'em be fine;
And there be furrin' gels to kiss, and scented furrin' wine;
But there's no land like England, and no other gel like mine:
Thank Gawd for dear old Blighty in the mawnin'.
I dreamed I saw three demi-gods who in a cafe sat,
And one was small and crapulous, and one was large and fat;
And one was eaten up with vice and verminous at that.
The first he spoke of secret sins, and gems and perfumes rare;
And velvet cats and courtesans voluptuously fair:
"Who is the Sybarite?" I asked. They answered: "Baudelaire."
The second talked in tapestries, by fantasy beguiled;
As frail as bubbles, hard as gems, his pageantries he piled;
"This Lord of Language, who is he?" They whispered "Oscar Wilde."
The third was staring at his glass from out abysmal pain;
With tears his eyes were bitten in beneath his bulbous brain.
"Who is the sodden wretch?" I said. They told me: "Paul Verlaine."
Oh, Wilde, Verlaine and Baudelaire, their lips were wet with wine;
Oh poseur, pimp and libertine! Oh cynic, sot and swine!
Oh votaries of velvet vice! . . . Oh gods of light divine!
Oh Baudelaire, Verlaine and Wilde, they knew the sinks of shame;
Their sun-aspiring wings they scorched at passion's altar flame;
Yet lo! enthroned, enskied they stand, Immortal Sons of Fame.
I dreamed I saw three demi-gods who walked with feet of clay,
With cruel crosses on their backs, along a miry way;
Who climbed and climbed the bitter steep to which men turn and pray.
When I am dead I will not care
How future generations fare,
For I will be so unaware.
Though fields their slain has carpeted,
And seas be salt with tears they shed,
Not one I'll waste, for I'll be dead.
Though atom bombs in ashes lay
Their skyey cities of to-day,
With carrion lips I cannot pray.
Though ruin reigns and madness raves,
And cowering men creep back in caves,
I cannot help to dig their graves.
Though fools for knowledge delve too deep,
And wake dark demons from their sleep,
I will not have the eyes to weep.
I will not care, I cannot care,
For I will be no longer there
To share their sorrow and despair.
And nevermore my heart will bleed
When on my brain the blind-worms feed,
For I'll be dead, dead, DEAD indeed.
And when I rot and cease to be,
It matters not a jot to me
What may be man's dark destiny.
Ah! there you have the hell of it,
As in the face of Fate I spit
I know she doesn't mind a bit.
A thousand millions clot this earth,
And billions more await their birth -
For what? . . . Ye gods, enjoy your mirth!
Time, the Jester, jeers at you;
Your life's a fleeting breath;
Your birthday's flimsy I.O.U.
To that old devil, Death.
And though to glory you attain,
Or be to beauty born,
Your pomp and vanity are vain:
Time ticks you off with scorn.
Time, the Cynic, sneers at you,
And stays you in your stride;
He flouts the daring deeds you do,
And pillories your pride.
The triumph of your yesterday
He pages with the Past;
He taunts you with the grave's decay
And calls the score at last.
All this I now, yet what care I!
Despite his dusty word,
I hold my tattered banner high,
And swing my broken sword.
In blackest night I glimpse a gleam,
And nurse a faith sublime,
To do, to dare, to hope, to dream,
to fight you, Foeman Time;
Yea, in the dark, a deathless beam
To smite you, Tyrant Time.
Said I: "See yon vast heaven shine,--
What earthly sight diviner?
Before such radiant Design
Why doubt Designer?"
Said he: "Design is just a thought
In human cerebration,
And meaningless if Man is not
Part of creation.
"But grant Design,--we may imply
The job took toil aplenty;
Then why one sole designer, why
Not ten or twenty.
"But should there be one Source supreme
Of matter and of motion,
Why mould it like our man-machine
For daft devotion?"
Said I: "You may be right or wrong,
I'll seek not to discover . . .
I listen to yon starry song,--
Still, still God's lover."