Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Allouette


Singing larks I saw for sale -
(Ah! the pain of it)
Plucked and ready to impale
On a roasting spit;
Happy larks that summer-long
Stormed the radiant sky,
Adoration in their song . . .
Packed to make a pie.>

Hark! from springs of joy unseen
Spray their jewelled notes.
Tangle them in nets of green,
Twist their lyric throats;
Clip their wings and string them tight,
Stab them with a skewer,
All to tempt the apptite
Of the epicure.

Shade of Shelley! Come not nigh
This accursèd spot,
Where for sixpence one can buy
Skylarks for the pot;
Dante, paint a blacker hell,
Plunge in deeper darks
Wretches who can slay and sell
Sunny-hearted larks.

You who eat, you are the worst:
By internal pains,
May you ever be accurst
Who pluck these poor remains.
But for you wingèd joy would soar
To heaven from the sod:
In ecstasy a lark would pour
Its gratitude to God.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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