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Poor Cock Robin



My garden robin in the Spring
Was rapturous with glee,
And followed me with wistful wing
From pear to apple tree;
His melodies the summer long
He carolled with delight,
As if he could with jewelled song
Find favour in my sight.

And now that Autumn's in the air
He's singing singing still,
And yet somehow I cannot bear
The frenzy of his bill;
The keen wind ruffs his ruddy breast
As to bare boughs he clings;
The sun is sullen in the West
Yet still he sings and sings.

Soon, soon the legions of the snow
Will pitch their tents again,
And round my window-sill I know
He'll call for crumbs in vein;
The pulsing passion of his throat
Has hint of Winter woe;
The piercing sweetness of his note
entreats me not to go.

In vein, in vain, Oh valiant one,
You sing to bid me stay!
For all my life is in the sun
And I must fly away.
yet by no gold or orange glow
Will I be comforted,
Seeing blood-bright in bitter snow -
A robin dead.

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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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