Wednesday 14 February 2018

The Men That Don't Fit In

There's a race of men that don't fit in,

A race that can't stay still;

So they break the hearts of kith and kin,

And they roam the world at will.

They range the field and they rove the flood,

And they climb the mountain's crest;

Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,

And they don't know how to rest.

If they just went straight they might go far;

They are strong and brave and true;

But they're always tired of the things that are,

And they want the strange and new.

They say: "Could I find my proper groove,

What a deep mark I would make!"

So they chop and change, and each fresh move

Is only a fresh mistake.

And each forgets, as he strips and runs

With a brilliant, fitful pace,

It's the steady, quiet, plodding ones

Who win in the lifelong race.

And each forgets that his youth has fled,

Forgets that his prime is past,

Till he stands one day, with a hope that's dead,

In the glare of the truth at last.

He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;

He has just done things by half.

Life's been a jolly good joke on him,

And now is the time to laugh.

Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;

He was never meant to win;

He's a rolling stone, and it's bred in the bone;

He's a man who won't fit in.

Robert W. Service

Born     January 16, 1874
Preston, Lancashire, England
Died     September 11, 1958 (aged 84)
Lancieux, Côtes-d'Armor, France


  1. Hippo? Is it really you? We thought you had been abducted by aliens.

    1. This is theatrical and so unlike tom who would have left some sort of postscript ...I don't believe it

    2. But Tom has always been "theatrical", John, retelling (I wouldn't even suggest embellishing) his hair raising adventures with such gusto. However, I would say there was an underlying element of melancholy about him. And on having read the poem slowly and several times, it fits him to a tee; albeit a slightly worrying tee. But then Tom has always been self aware; little, if any, bullshitting for him. A free spirit, one of life's good guys. He'd stand on a landmine before he'd let you.


  2. Always liked the poems of Robert Service. Great to hear from you Tom!

  3. Ditto. Has someone stolen your blog? We have missed you terribly and I can only assume you've been building and caring for your young ones.

  4. Such a wonderful by-line. Welcome back. How I hope you've come to recount the jolly good jokes of the Legion Lost. You may be astounded to see how many of us are in that audience.

  5. What a surprise! Good to see you are back! I've missed your posts.

  6. I echo thoughts of others - is that really you or have you been hijacked? If so, let us poor morsels know how you and yours are.

  7. Hey, gimpy, is that really you? You broke in those fancy boots yet? That piece by Mr Service sounds a bit ominous. How about some clarification on what has happened with you over the last couple years while you have been MIA, you know, for us low brow pedestrians that are not conversant in fancy literature.

  8. Well Hello Hippo ! It's nice to hear rom you if only by way of this slightly ominous poem. ( I like it very much by the way )
    Hope Marcia and the children are OK and you are too. Please just drop us a line to let us know.

  9. Hey Tom! Glad to see you back from Yoghurt Knitter no.1!

  10. Fuck me... I've emailed u , worried about you and guessed what happened about you and u never replied is this u?
    Forgive me but I am wondering that it isn't ?
    If it is are a shit.....a shit I missed ...but a fucking shit
    Please answer

  11. I hope this is Tom, but I'm afraid to believe it.

  12. Yes, I am back. But just don't ask...

    1. Tom, what a befitting way to start the Year of the Dog.


  13. I’m so happy you’re back, I hope Marcia, Alex, Dom, and little lady Charlie ( I hope the names are right ) and of course yourself are well’ve been missed ..

  14. I wasn't a reader of your blog before but more than one of the blogs I follow now are very happy to see you posting again. Welcome back, life should be chronicled.


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