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The Dove Has A Word
(7 September 1876 - 22 June 1938 / Auburn, South Australia)

The Dove Has A Word

With a sprig in my beak, I repeatedly seek
For a spot where a poor bird may rest,
While tumultuous man strives in vain for a plan
That may build me a permanent nest.
But I'm sick of this search. All I ask is a perch
In a cope, neither gaudy nor grand;
And they need me, they say in a 'passionate' way;
But as soon as I venture to land
There's a clashing of scabbards; a barking of dogs
And I'm off once again to the ambient fogs.

I'd a job long ago - for old Noah, you know
And I hadn't much trouble with that.
But this mechanised age makes the searching a rage
For a synthetic Mont Ararat.
I have sought me a home o'er Locarno and Rome,
O'er Geneva, week after drear week;
I have hovered and wheeled and while the nations appealed
But as soon as a haven I seek
There's a beating of drums, and a yelling of fear,
And I'm off once again to the calm stratosphere.

And now sounds a cooing, a tentative wooing,
Where Italy's olive groves gleam
And they press a bland oil from the fruits of their soil.
Is it olive they offer? Or, wait - they proffer
That oil named for Pollux's twin
That unguent, whose use 'mid Rome's rashly obtsue,
Helped the Fascist ideal to win?
If 'tis this, I am off to the cradle of stars
For a home with old bluff, unequivocal Mars!

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