Works in the Herald 1933

The Dove of Peace which has been hovering rather high over Europe of late, has volplaned to a slightly lower level while the Powers consider Signor Mussolini's latest peace plan. Meanwhile, the world waits in hope that the weary bird will settle at last.

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!

Herald, 23 March 1933, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2005