English poetry

Poets Х Biographies Х Poem Themes Х Random Poem Х
The Rating of Poets Х The Rating of Poems

Poem by Robert William Service


Grey Gull


'Twas on an iron, icy day
I saw a pirate gull down-plane,
And hover in a wistful way
Nigh where my chickens picked their grain.
An outcast gull, so grey and old,
Withered of leg I watched it hop,
By hunger goaded and by cold,
To where each fowl full-filled its crop.

They hospitably welcomed it,
And at the food rack gave it place;
It ate and ate, it preened a bit,
By way way of gratitude and grace.
It parleyed with my barnyard cock,
Then resolutely winged away;
But I am fey in feather talk,
And this is what I heard it say:

"I know that you and all your tribe
Are shielded warm and fenced from fear;
With food and comfort you would bribe
My weary wings to linger here.
An outlaw scarred and leather-lean,
I battle with the winds of woe:
You think me scaly and unclean...
And yet my soul you do not know,

"I storm the golden gates of day,
I wing the silver lanes of night;
I plumb the deep for finny prey,
On wave I sleep in tempest height.
Conceived was I by sea and sky,
Their elements are fused in me;
Of brigand birds that float and fly
I am the freest of the free.

"From peak to plain, from palm to pine
I coast creation at my will;
The chartless solitudes are mine,
And no one seeks to do me ill.
Until some cauldron of the sea
Shall gulp for me and I shall cease...
Oh I have lived enormously
And I shall have prodigious peace."

With yellow bill and beady eye
This spoke, I think, that old grey gull;
And as I watched it Southward fly
Life seemed to be a-sudden dull.
For I have often held this thought -
If I could change this mouldy me,
By heaven! I would choose the lot,
Of all the gypsy birds, to be
A gull that spans the spacious sea.



Robert William Service


Robert William Service's other poems:
  1. The Centenarian
  2. Prelude (I sing no idle songs of dalliance days)
  3. Sensibility
  4. The Prospector
  5. Man Child


Poem to print Print

955 Views



Last Poems


To Russian version


–ейтинг@Mail.ru

English Poetry. E-mail eng-poetry.ru@yandex.ru