Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

The Pigeons Of St. Marks


Something's wrong in Pigeon-land;
'Tisn't as it used to be,
When the pilgrim, corn in hand,
Courted us with laughing glee;
When we crooned with pinions furled,
Tamest pigeons in the world.

When we packed each arm and shoulder,
Never deeming man a menace;
Surly birds were never bolder
Than our dainty doves of Venice:
Who would have believed a pigeon
Could become wild as a widgeon.

Well, juts blame it on the War,
When Venetians grew thinner,
And gaunt hands would grab us for
Succulence to serve a dinner . . .
How our numbers fast grew fewer,
As we perished on a skewer.

Pa and Mummie went like that,
So when tourist takes his stand,
On his Borsolino hat
Soft as whispered love I land;
Then with cooing liquid vowels
I . . . evacuate my bowls.

Something's wrong in Pigeon-land;
Mankind we no longer trust;
Shrinking from the tendered hand,
pick we corn from out the dust;
While on guileless pilgrim pate,
Thinking that revenge is sweet,
Soft I croon my hymn of hate,
Drop my tribute and retreat.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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