Robert William Service

Here you will find the Poem Belated Conscience of poet Robert William Service

Belated Conscience

To buy for school a copy-book
 I asked my Dad for two-pence;
He gave it with a gentle look,
 Although he had but few pence.
'Twas then I proved myself a crook
 And came a moral cropper,
I bought a penny copy-book
 And blued the other copper.

I spent it on a sausage roll
 Gulped down with guilt suggestion,
To the damnation of my soul
 And awful indigestion.
Poor Dad! His job was hard to hold;
 His mouths to feed were many;
Were he alive a millionfold
 I'd pay him for his penny.

Now nigh the grave I think with grief,
 Though other sins are many,
I am a liar and a thief
 'Cause once I stole a penny:
Yet be he pious as a friar
 It is my firm believing,
That every man has been a liar
 And most of us done thieving.