Robert William Service (16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)
Gazing to gold seraph wing,
With wistful wonder in my eyes,
A blue-behinded ape, I swing
Upon the palms of Paradise.
A parakeet of gaudy hue
Upon a flame tree smugly rocks;
Oh, we're a precious pair, we two,
I gibber while the parrot squawks.
"If I had but your wings," I sigh,
"How ardently would I aspire
To soar celestially high
And mingle with yon angel choir."
His beady eye is bitter hard;
Right mockingly he squints at me;
As critic might review a bard
His scorn is withering to see.
And as I beat my brest and howl,
"Poor fool," he shrills, my bliss to wreck.
So . . . so I steal behind that fowl
And grab his claw and screw his neck.
And swift his scarlet wings I tear;
Seeking to soar, with hope divine,
I frantically beat the air,
And crash to earth and - snap my spine.
Yet as I lie with shaken breaths
Of pain I watch my seraph throng. . . .
Oh, I would die a dozen deaths
Could I but sing one deathless song!
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