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Poem by Robert William Service


The Artist


All day with brow of anxious thought
The dictionary through,
Amid a million words he sought
The sole one that would do.
He wandered on from pub to pub
Yet never ceased to seek
With burning brain and pencil stub
The Word Unique.

Said he: 'I'll nail it down or die.
Oh Heaven help me, pray!'
And then a heavy car dashed by,
And he was in the way.
They rushed him to the hospital,
And though his chance was bleak,
He cried: 'I'll croak, but find I shall
The Word Unique.'

They reckoned he was off his head,
And could be it was so;
For as they bent above his bed
He mumbled soft and low.
And then a name they heard him speak,
Yet did not deem it odd...
At last he'd found the Word Unique,--
Just God.



Robert William Service


Robert William Service's other poems:
  1. Retired Shopman
  2. The Centenarian
  3. Surtax
  4. Prelude (I sing no idle songs of dalliance days)
  5. Village Don Juan


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Arthur Doyle The Artist ("The little elves upon the walls")
  • Madison Cawein The Artist ("In story books, when I was very young")
  • Walter Raleigh The Artist ("The Artist and his Luckless Wife")

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