A Watch of Turtledoves


Lovely evening,
Lovely garden,
Just the setting
For some rest.

At the outskirts
Of the city,
Peaceful bower
For my nest.

Comes a human
With his following,
Hardly making
Any sound.

Three are with him
In the darkness,
Kneeling lowly
On the ground.

Coo-coo-ah, now
He is weeping,
With his face raised
T’ward the sky.

While the others
Nestle, sleeping;
Surely they must
Hear him cry?

All else quiet,
But his pleading
With someone I
Cannot see.

Oh, dear human,
Were I able
To flit down
And comfort thee!

Coo-coo-ah, yes
He’s the same one,
Who comes often
To this place.

Yet I hardly
Recognize him,
For the tension
In his face…

Comes a breaking
In his pleading,
And the strain now
Turns serene.

Just as if
Some bless’ed answer,
Has arrived from
Him unseen.

Coo-coo-ah, look!
Men are coming,
Of a harder
Rugged kind!

Coo-coo-ah, flee!
They mean trouble
For whomever
They may find!

Coo-coo-ah, Man,
Do not stand there
Just as if you
Do not mind!

For a moment,
Hesitating,
They examine
What they’ve found.

Then he speaks;
His words of power
Send them reeling
To the ground!

Here’s your chance, Friend,
Head for cover!
While they stagger
In the dust.

All your youngsters
Seized the moment,
They are fleeing
As you must!

But he simply
Stands before them
As the fetters
Are applied.

Oh, you could have
Kept your freedom,
Oh, if you had
Only tried!

Troops and torches,
Disappearing,
With my human
Well in hand.

Children saved, while
He is taken.
Yes, I think I
Understand.

Coo-coo-ah,
Coo-coo-ah,
Coo-coo-ahhhh…….

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