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The Pigeon Shooting



They say that Monte Carlo is
A sunny place for shady people;
But I'm not in the gambling biz,
And sober as a parish steeple.
so though this paradisal spot
The devil's playground of the rich is,
I love it and I love it not,
As men may sometimes fall for bitches.

I lazed beneath the sky's blue bliss,
The sea swooned with a sequin glimmer;
The breeze was shy as maiden kiss,
The palms sashayed in silken shimmr.
The peace I soaked in every pore
did me more good than ten religions . . .
And then: Bang! Bang! my joy was o'er;
Says I: "There goes them poor dam pigeons."

I see them bob from out their traps,
the swarded green aroud them ringing;
bewildered, full of joy perhaps,
With sudden hope of skyway winging.
They blink a moment at the sun,
They flutter free of earthy tether . . .
A fat man holds a smoking gun,
A boy collects some blood and feather.

And so through all the sainted day,
Bang! Bang! a bunch of plumage gory.
Five hundred francs they cost to slay,
And few there live to tell the story . . .
Yet look! there's one so swift to fly,
Despite the shots a course he's steering . . .
Brave little bird! he's winging high,
He's gained the trees - I feel like cheering.

In Monte Carlo's garden glades
With dreamful bliss one softly lingers,
And lazily in leafy shades
The doves pick breadcrumbs from one fingers . . .
Bang! Bang! Farewell, oh sylvan courts!
Where peace and joy are sweetly blended . . .
God curse these lousy Latin sports!
My pigeons scat, my dream is ended.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:24 min read
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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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