By George Sterling

Said the little grey snipe to his brothers few,
    Where the river flows by Martin's farm,
"Stay! the bunting is not for you:
    We are too small for man to harm."

And I went past on my way to the geese,
    Scarce a rod from the tiny band,
Which moved no feather, but stood in peace
    On the verge of the pleasant meadow-land.

But when I had gone came another one,
    From the hill where the lupin-pods were ripe.
Small as he was he carried a gun-
    Alas ! alas! for the little snipe!

And I came back from a fruitless quest,
    But another stood in a pine-set cot,
And said, with pride in his glowing breast:
    "See, mother, see the big birds I shot!"

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