In London Town (Mary E Coleridge Words, Ian Inkster Music.

By Mary E. Coleridge circa 1896

It was a bird of Paradise,
Over the roofs he flew.
All the children, in a trice,
Clapped their hands and cried, "How nice!
Look - his wings are blue! "

His body was of ruby red
His eyes were burning gold
All the grown-up people said,
"What a pity the creature is not dead,
For then it could be sold! "

One was braver than the rest,
He took a loaded gun;
Aiming at the emerald crest,
He shot the creature through the breast,
Down it fell in the sun.

It was not heavy, it was not fat,
And folk began to stare.
"We cannot eat it, that is flat!
And such outlandish feathers as that
Why, who could ever wear? "

They flung it into the river brown.
"A pity the creature died! "
With a smile and with a frown,
Thus they did in London town:
But all the children cried.

by Dr Ian Inkster

Comments (1)

Just to note that I have set three poems by Mary E coleridge (1861-1907) to music for Poemhunter, this present one, The Witch, and Unwelcome - the latter title I still think is absolutely not good enough for the poem so I re-titled it as a song The West in her Eyes, which to me is what its really about! Ian Inkster London January 2018.