By inlet and islet and wide river reaches,
By lake and lagoon I'm at home,
Yet oft' the far forests of blue-gum and beeches
About the broad ranges I roam,
'There's a strange, sombre bird with a hook in his beak.'
'Tis the little black cormorant raiding your creek.

And woe to the fisher and woe to the fishes
A gourmand I freely confess
When I come a-searching for succulent dishes,
Arrayed in my funeral dress,
Then the fishermen rave, and in anger they speak:
'There's a little black cormorant coming up creek!'

But I'm quick and I'm cunning, as many a greyling,
A blackfish, a trout or a bream
Has known to his sorrow when down I go sailing
To hunt him beneath the dark stream.
To my cavernous maw then they all come alike,
And 'tis death should the little black cormorant strike.

But I am an outlaw. I'm hunted and harried,
I'm banned from the havens of men.
And woe is to me if to long I have tarried
A shot o'er the waters - and then,
There is reason indeed for my funeral dress,
For, alas, here's a little black cormorant less.

More verses by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

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