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Euthansia



A sea-gull with a broken wing,
I found upon the kelp-strewn shore.
It sprawled and gasped; I sighed: "Poor thing!
I fear your flying days are o'er;
Sad victim of a savage gun,
So ends your soaring in the sun."

I only wanted to be kind;
Its icy legs I gently caught,
Thinking its fracture I might bind,
But fiercely in its fear it fought;
Till guessing that I meant no ill,
It glared and gaped, but lay quite still.

I took it home and gave it food,
And nursed its wing day after day.
Alas for my solicitude,
It would not eat, but pined away.
And so at last with tender hands
I took it to its native sands.
"I'll leave it where its kindred are,"
I thought, "And maybe they will cheer
And comfort it": I watched afar,
I saw them wheeling swiftly near. . . .
Awhile they hovered overhead,
Then darted down and - stabbed it dead.

When agonized is human breath,
And there's of living not a chance,
Could it not be that gentle death
Might mean divine deliverance?
Might it not seep into our skulls
To be as merciful as gulls?

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Robert William Service

Robert William Service was a poet and writer sometimes referred to as the Bard of the Yukon He is best-known for his writings on the Canadian North including the poems The Shooting of Dan McGrew The Law of the Yukon and The Cremation of Sam McGee His writing was so expressive that his readers took him for a hard-bitten old Klondike prospector not the later-arriving bank clerk he actually was Robert William Service was born 16 January 1874 in Preston England but also lived in Scotland before emigrating to Canada in 1894 Service went to the Yukon Territory in 1904 as a bank clerk and became famous for his poems about this region which are mostly in his first two books of poetry He wrote quite a bit of prose as well and worked as a reporter for some time but those writings are not nearly as well known as his poems He travelled around the world quite a bit and narrowly escaped from France at the beginning of the Second World War during which time he lived in Hollywood California He died 11 September 1958 in France Incidentally he played himself in a movie called The Spoilers starring John Wayne and Marlene Dietrich more…

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