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Poem by Robert William Service

The Test

Sometimes a bit of rhyme I see 
	In magazine or book 
That makes such fond appeal to me 
	Its flaws I overlook; 
It may be just a simple lay, 
	Yet humanly so pat, 
That when Ive scanned it twice I say: 
	I wish Id written that.

But when I read some classic ode 
	Of gods and mighty men, 
To finish it I have to goad 
	My patience now and then. 
Although to thrill to it I try, 
	Its organ note goes flat, 
And honestly I cannot sigh: 
	I wish Id written that. 

Some poems lift aloft the mind, 
	Some whisper to the heart; 
Unto the last Im more inclined, 
	Though innocent of art. 
Some verses get beneath my skin  
	Like Casey at the Bat, 
Or Jim Bloodso or Gunga Din  
	Why didnt I write that? 

These bards have got the edge on me, 
	Ive missed the lyric bus; 
My rhymes and meters, I agree, 
	Are sadly obvious. 
My balladeering lays I rue, 
	Im just a copy-cat... 
Goldarn that devil, Dan McGrew  
	Oh why did I write that? 

Robert William Service

Robert William Service's other poems:
  1. Toledo
  2. The Robbers
  3. The Wee Shop
  4. The Locket
  5. The Sum-Up

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Katharine Tynan The Test ("Love has moods: and I am cold")

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