Pullman Porter Pullman Porter
By Robert W. Service 1874–1958
The porter in the Pullman car Was charming,
as they sometimes are.
He scanned my baggage tags: “Are you The man who wrote of Lady Lou?”
When I said “yes” he made a fussi Oh, he was most assiduous;
And I was pleased to think that he Enjoyed my brand of poetry.
He was forever at my call, So when we got to Montreal And he had brushed me off, I said: “I’m glad my poems you have read, I feel quite flattered, I confess, And if you give me your address I’ll send you (autographed, of course) One of my little books of verse.”
He smiledihis teeth were white as milk; He spokeihis voice was soft as silk. I recognized, despite his skin, The perfect gentleman within. Then courteously he made reply: “I thank you kindly, Sir, but I With many other cherished tome Have all your books of verse at home.
“When I was quite a little boy I used to savour them with joy; And now my daughter, aged three, Can tell the tale of Sam McGee; While Tom, my son, that’s only two, Has heard the yarn of Dan McGrew .... Don’t think your stuff I’m not applaudin’i My taste is Eliot and Auden.”
So as we gravely bade adieu I felt quite snubbediand so would you. And yet I shook him by the hand, Impressed that he could understand The works of those two tops I mention, So far beyond my comprehensioni A humble bard of boys and barmen, Disdained, alas! by Pullman carmen.
Buy or borrow this book:
Source: The Best of Robert Service (1953)