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Stowaway

We'd left the sea-gulls long behind,
And we were almost in mid-ocean;
The sky was soft and blue and kind,
The boat had scarcely any motion;
Except that songfully it sped,
And sheared the foam swift as an arrow . . .
There fluttered down a city sparrow.

I stared with something of surprise;
The apparition mocked my seeming;
In fact I gently rubbed my eyes
And wondered if I were not dreaming.
It must, I mused, at Montreal
Have hopped abroad, somewhere to nestle,
And failed to hear the warning call
For visitors to leave he vessel.

Well, anyway a bird it was,
With winky eyes and wings a-twitter,
Unwise to migration Laws,
From Canada a hardy flitter;
And as it hopped about the deck
So happily I wondered whether
It wasn't scramming from Quebec
For London's mild and moister weather.

My rover's heart went out to it,
That vain, vivacious little devil;
And as I watched it hop and flit
I hoped it would not come to evil;
It planned above the plangent sea
(A foolish flight, I'd never risk it),
And then it circled back to me
And from my palm picked crumbs of biscuit.

Well, voyages come to an end
(WE make them with that understanding);
One morn I missed my feathered friend,
And hope it made a happy landing.
Oh may she ever happy be
(It 'twas a "she") with eggs to sit on,
And rest on our side of he sea,
A brave, brown, cheery, chirping Briton.

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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…

All Robert William Service poems | Robert William Service Books

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    "Stowaway" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 22 Apr. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/32452/stowaway>.

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