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Robert William Service (Роберт Уильям Сервис)


Roulette


I'll wait until my money's gone
Before I take the sleeping pills;
Then when they find me in the dawn,
Remote from earthly ails and ills
They'll say: "She's broke, the foreign bitch!"
And dump me in the common ditch.

So thought I, of all hope bereft,
And by my evil fate obsessed;
A thousand franks was all I'd left
Of that fair fortune I possessed.
...I throw it on the table there,
And wait, with on my lips a prayer.

I fear my very life's at stake;
My note is lying on the Red...
I know I'll lose it, then I'll take
My pills and sleep until I'm dead...
Oh God of mercy, understand!
In pity guide the croupier's hand.

My heart beats hard, my lips are dry;
I feel I cannot bear to look.
I dread to hear the croupier's cry,
I'll sit down in this quiet nook.
The lights go dim, my senses reel...
See! Jesus Christ is at the wheel.

* * * * * * *

Kind folks arouse me from my trance.
"The Red has come ten times," they say.
"Oh do not risk another chance;
Please, Lady, take your gains away,
And to the Lord of Luck give thanks -
You've won nigh half a million franks."

Aye, call me just a daft old dame;
I knit and sew to make my bread,
And nevermore I'll play that game,
For I've a glory in my head...
Ah well I know, to stay my fall,
'Twas our dear Lord who spun the ball.



Robert William Service's other poems:
  1. The Pines
  2. On the Wire
  3. Henry
  4. The Prospector
  5. It is Later than You Think


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