Intolerance

Robert William Service 1874 – 1958

I have no brief for gambling, nay
  The notion I express
That money earned 's the only way
  To pay for happiness.
With cards and dice I do not hold;
  By betting I've been bit:
Conclusion: to get honest gold
  You've got to sweat for it.
 
Though there be evil in strong drink
  It's brought me heaps of fun;
And now, with some reserve, I think
  My toping days are done.
Though at teetotal cranks I laugh,
  Yet being sound and hale,
I find the best of drinks to quaff
  Is good old Adam's ale.

I do not like your moralist,
  Who with a righteous grin
Informs you o'er a pounding fist:
  "Unchastity is sin."
I don't believe it, but I grant,
  By every human test,
From parson, pimp and maiden aunt,
  Morality is best.

Yet what a bore our lives would be
  If we lived as we should;
It's such a blessing to be free,
  And not be over-good.
I value virtues great and small,
  As I in life advance:
But O the greatest sin of all
  I count--INTOLERANCE.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Robert William Service

Robert William Service was a poet and writer sometimes referred to as the Bard of the Yukon He is best-known for his writings on the Canadian North including the poems The Shooting of Dan McGrew The Law of the Yukon and The Cremation of Sam McGee His writing was so expressive that his readers took him for a hard-bitten old Klondike prospector not the later-arriving bank clerk he actually was Robert William Service was born 16 January 1874 in Preston England but also lived in Scotland before emigrating to Canada in 1894 Service went to the Yukon Territory in 1904 as a bank clerk and became famous for his poems about this region which are mostly in his first two books of poetry He wrote quite a bit of prose as well and worked as a reporter for some time but those writings are not nearly as well known as his poems He travelled around the world quite a bit and narrowly escaped from France at the beginning of the Second World War during which time he lived in Hollywood California He died 11 September 1958 in France Incidentally he played himself in a movie called The Spoilers starring John Wayne and Marlene Dietrich more…

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"Intolerance" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 9 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/32190/intolerance>.

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