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Robert William Service (Роберт Уильям Сервис)


The Wedding Ring


I pawned my sick wife's wedding ring,
To drink and make myself a beast.
I got the most that it would bring,
Of golden coins the very least.
With stealth into her room I crept
And stole it from her as she slept.

I do not think that she will know,
As in its place I left a band
Of brass that has a brighter glow
And gleamed upon her withered hand.
I do not think that she can tell
The change; she does not see too well.

Pray God, she doesn't find me out.
I'd rather far I would be dead.
Yet yesterday she seemed to doubt,
And looking at me long she said:
"My finger must have shrunk, because
My ring seems bigger than it was."

She gazed at it so wistfully,
And one big tear rolled down her cheek.
Said she: "You'll bury it with me..."
I was so moved I could not speak.
Oh wretched me! How whisky can
Bring out the devil in a man!"

And yet I know she loves me still,
As on the morn that we were wed;
And darkly guess I also will
Be doomed the day that she is dead.
And yet I swear, before she's gone,
I will retrieve her ring from pawn.

I'll get it though I have to steal,
Then when to ease her bitter pain
They give her sleep oh I will feel
Her hand and slip it on again;
Through tears her wasted face I'll see,
And pray to God: "Oh pity me!"



Robert William Service's other poems:
  1. My Guardian Angel
  2. Kings Must Die
  3. Miss Mischievous
  4. Navels
  5. Old Ed


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