A LOW-LIVING fellow, I haven't a friend;
My heart, like my habit, is black;
My nature is "yellow"; my greed has no end,
And every virtue I lack.
The aerial gangster, the bird racketeer
Wherever I go follows frenzy and fear;
But I flap on my way with a curse and a sneer
To bluster and bully and sack.
My methods are savage. I come with my mob
To harry the helpless and weak,
To rend and to ravage, to murder and rob,
And my ways are the ways of a sneak.
No meat is amiss to my cavernous maw;
I kidnap the nestlings; I bow to no law;
Then I'm off on my way with a sinister caw
Or an egg at the end of my beak.
I'm cautious and cunning and gruesome and grim;
For what I can't slaughter I maim.
But if you come gunning your chances are slim,
For I know every trick of the game,
My signals are many, my sentries alert;
Bird-shot or abuses do me little hurt;
And, like every gangster, my gifts I pervert.
In short, I'm a fowl of ill-fame.
The Crow (Australian Raven)
by C J Dennis (1876-1938)
The Singing Garden (1935) p.171.