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 Mary Coleridge (1861 - 1907), "In London Town", appears in Poems, no. 157, first published 1907 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Cyril Bradley Rootham (1875 - 1938), "In London Town", published 1935. [SSA chorus and piano] [text not verified]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2009-02-04
Line count: 25
Word count: 149