No, really not. It is another of my occasional Hans Christian Anderson poems. Honest.
The Emperor’s Nightingales
‘Your feathers were torn out of someone’s side
left blood behind, and were then dipped in gold.
They’re dead things, can’t protect you from the cold,
and you’re dead too,’ the angry songbird cried.
‘Your music’s dead – a string of cog-wheels whir
inside you, and pluck strings. You can’t replace
real song, of which there’ll never be a trace
in you. The soul-less blind artificer
who thought with you to steal our songbirds’ soul
has failed. You’re a pathetic stupid thing
too dead to know that you can’t even sing.
No part of music. While we are the whole.’
And while the palace garden harshly rang
with nightingale complaints, the toy bird sang