THE DOVE by Victor Daley

Within his office, smiling.
But all the screws of Birmingham
   Were working in his brain.

The heart within his bosom
   Was as a millstone hard;
His eye was cold and cruel,
   His face was frozen lard.

He had the map of Africa
   Upon his table spread:
He took a brush, and with the same
   He painted it blood-red.

He heard no moan of widows,
   But only the hurrah
Of charging lines and squadrons
   And 'Rule Britannia.'

A white dove to his window
   With branch of olive sped --
He took a ruler in his hand,
   And struck the white dove dead.

First published in The Bulletin, 22 February 1902, p6

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