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Allouette

 Singing larks I saw for sale -
(Ah! the pain of it)
Plucked and ready to impale
On a roasting spit;
Happy larks that summer-long
Stormed the radiant sky,
Adoration in their song .
.
.
Packed to make a pie.
> Hark! from springs of joy unseen Spray their jewelled notes.
Tangle them in nets of green, Twist their lyric throats; Clip their wings and string them tight, Stab them with a skewer, All to tempt the apptite Of the epicure.
Shade of Shelley! Come not nigh This accursèd spot, Where for sixpence one can buy Skylarks for the pot; Dante, paint a blacker hell, Plunge in deeper darks Wretches who can slay and sell Sunny-hearted larks.
You who eat, you are the worst: By internal pains, May you ever be accurst Who pluck these poor remains.
But for you wingèd joy would soar To heaven from the sod: In ecstasy a lark would pour Its gratitude to God.

by Robert William Service
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