Robert William Service

Here you will find the Poem Four-Foot Shelf of poet Robert William Service

Four-Foot Shelf

'Come, see,' said he, 'my four-foot shelf,
 A forty volume row;
And every one I wrote myself,
 But that, of course, you know.'
I stared, I searched a memory dim,
 For though an author too,
Somehow I'd never heard of him,--
 None of his books I knew.

Said I: 'I'd like to borrow one,
 Fond memories to recall.'
Said he: 'I'll gladly give you some,
 And autograph them all.'
And so a dozen books he brought,
 And signed tome after tome:
Of course I thanked him quite a lot,
 And took them home.

So now I have to read his work,
 Though dry as dust it be;
No portion of it may I shirk,
 Lest he should question me.
This tale is true,--although it looks
 To me a bloody shame,
A guy could father forty books,
 yet no one know his name.