Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, VERDANT GREEN AND THE CROW, by ROBERT BRUCE



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VERDANT GREEN AND THE CROW, by            
First Line: Young verdant saddled his horse at the rail
Last Line: "a woebegone, gizzard-wrung, ""r-r-r."
Subject(s): Birds; Crows; Deserts; Food & Eating; Fools; Idiots


YOUNG Verdant saddled his horse at the rail—
Saddle and bridle and crupper were new,
Brand-new were his breastplate and surcingle,
While Verdant himself might well pass for that, too—
His spurs had no speck and were long in the neck,
His leggings and suit they were all above par,
But just then a crow who seemed quite in the know
Croaked mockingly, "Ah-r-r,
You are greener than grass, so you a-r-r."

Grown dirty, of course, when he'd saddled his horse,
He brushed off the dust from his sleeves and his boots;
He brushed off the flies which would cling round his eyes
Addressing them thus—"O, you howwible bwoots!"
But here a tame black ambled out with a snack—
For Verdant would meet with no public-house bar—
And waterbag (new), which seemed dripping with dew.
That crow, when he saw it, croaked, "A-h-r,
It will leak dry before you get f-a-r."

To saddle's side D his new waterbag he
And luncheon secured with a stout piece of twine
He took from his pocket, then mounted grey Rocket
In order to visit an old copper-mine.
Then somebody cried, "Take good heed where you ride,
For mulgas and myalls bad fingerposts are,
And often, indeed, green newcomers mislead."
That crow, as he took wing, croaked, "A-h-r,
These new chums are choice snacks, they a-r-r."

The weather was hot, but the flies, a large lot,
With Verdant elected to go in a cluster,
And though he objected, no chance they neglected
In all his moist cuticle's crannies to muster.
Not nearly all fun was that ride in the sun
And Verdant Green's feelings received quite a jar
When, from a dead mulga, with air rude and vulgar,
That crow gave an insolent, "A-h-r
I'll have you my tit-bit, a-h-r."

Then somehow or other, perhaps from the bother
Our Verdant endured from that crow and those flies,
He got off the track and then could not get back,
Though cantering Rocket to rise after rise,
To see something hoping, the next moment moping,
Till ah! he is certain he hears a sheep's baa,
Then hastens to find it, and he who may mind it.
'Tis that fiend crow that greets him with, "A-h-r,
You are lost now, you fool, yes, you a-r-r."

That crow greets him with "r", and a grating "e-r"
Tacked on to the first "r", confound him.
Though Green fears the worst, and is certainly lost,
How he'd jump on that vile crow and pound him;
The hideous thing, like some imp on the wing,
With eye gleaming out from a setting of tar,
It gloats o'er his pain, and again and again
Just settles to greet him with, "A-h-r,
You are bound to be crow's meat, you a-r-r."

Now Rocket, who's not in condition to trot
And canter for ever and ever on end,
Just feels like a log, and at last will not jog,
Though drumstick-like spurs are now plied by our friend.
A terrible fix—one of Satan's own tricks—
And Verdant now thinks how his pa and his ma
Will weep for their cherished and loved heir who perished.
That crow, all exultant, croaks, "A-h-r,
I'll have you before your ma-m-a."

The horse at last stops and poor Verdant Green drops
From saddle to ground by old Rocket to think;
But think he cannot, nor one landmark can spot,
So clutches his bag just to have a big drink.
He'll have a big drink—he of luncheon don't think—
But ah! the bag's dry—as I hear limekilns are—
That constant drip, dripping, has left not one sip in.
That crow, like a demon, croaks, "A-h-r,
You are ready for picking, you a-r-r."

"Oh, you'll have to die, and I'll have by and by
Your optics, and those of old Rocket's, of course;
I dote on fresh eyes, and a corpse is a prize
I'd far rather have than dead bullock or horse."
But ah! what is that? 'Tis the stockrider's hat
And the stockrider under it—Oh, what a jar
Is this for the crow—but, as homeward they go,
He grinds out the ghost of his former "A-h-r"—
A woebegone, gizzard-wrung, "R-r-r."





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