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Animal Poems

Poems by Animal


Table of Contents

  1. To a Lizard by W. S. Landor
  2. The Lizard by A. C. Benson
  3. Of The Mole in the Ground by John Bunyan
  4. The Considerate Crocodile by Anonymous
  5. The White Hare by James G. Brooks
  6. The Chameleon by James Merrick
  7. To a Rabbit by Helen M. Johnson
  8. The Rhinoceros by Annette Wynne
  9. Kindness to Animals by Anonymous

Miscellaneous Poems About Animals

  1. To a Lizard

    by W. S. Landor

    Why run away, poor lizard? why
    Art thou so diffident and shy?
    Trust to my word; I only want
    To look awhile and see thee pant.
    For well I know thy pantings are
    No signs of sorrow or of care,
    Although they swell thy jewelled breast
    And never let it lie at rest:
    Even when thou sinkest to repose
    None ever saw thy eyelids close.
    Turn, I beseech thee, turn again,
    So mayst thou watch no fly in vain.

  2. The Lizard

    by A. C. Benson

    Jewelled Lizard, you and I
    On the heathery hill-top lie,
    While the westering sun inclines
    Past the clump of red-stemmed pines;
    O'er the little space of sun
    Creep their shadows, one by one.

    Now you sit with sparkling eye
    While the bee spins homing by;
    Now you quiver, dart, and rush.
    Flickering through the heather-bush;
    Pattering round me, as I muse,
    Through the dry gorse avenues.

    What fantastic spirit made you,
    So devised you, so arrayed you,
    Thus, through centuries of leisure,
    Shaped you for a moment's pleasure,
    Stole from woodland diadems
    Your incomparable gems.
    Borrowed from the orbèd dew
    Emerald glints to burnish you?

    See, the world beneath us smiles;
    Heathery uplands, miles on miles,
    Purple plains and ridges steep.
    Smoke from hamlets bowered deep,
    Rolling downs with hazy head
    To the far horizon spread.

    Think it, lizard, every rood,
    Every stretch of field and wood,
    Every yard of sunny space,
    Rears and tends its little race!
    Half-a-hundred little hearts
    Play unseen their tiny parts,
    Bask beneath the liquid sky,
    Lizard bright, as you and I.

    Whence and whither! here you rest;
    You would scorn the foolish quest.
    I in drear omniscience
    Weave me dreams of how and whence.
    You, you care not; you, you run
    To and fro beneath the sun.
    Till these lights your armour leave.
    Darkling in the dusky eve.

  3. Of The Mole in the Ground

    by John Bunyan

    The mole's a creature very smooth and slick,
    She digs i' th' dirt, but 'twill not on her stick;
    So's he who counts this world his greatest gains,
    Yet nothing gets but's labour for his pains.
    Earth's the mole's element, she can't abide
    To be above ground, dirt heaps are her pride;
    And he is like her who the worldling plays,
    He imitates her in her work and ways.
    Poor silly mole, that thou should'st love to be
    Where thou nor sun, nor moon, nor stars can see.
    But O! how silly's he who doth not care
    So he gets earth, to have of heaven a share!

  4. The Considerate Crocodile

    by Amos Russel Wells

    There was once a considerate crocodile
    Who lay on the banks of the river Nile,
    And he swallowed a flsh with a face of woe,
    While his tears ran fast to the stream below.
    "I am mourning," said he, "the untimely fate
    Of the dear little fish that I just now ate!"

  5. The White Hare

    by James G. Brooks

    It was the Sabbath eve: we went,
    My little girl and I, intent
    The twilight hour to pass,
    Where we might hear the waters flow,
    And scent the freighted winds that blow
    Athwart the vernal grass.

    In darker grandeur, as the day
    Stole scarce perceptibly away,
    The purple mountain stood,
    Wearing the young moon as a crest:
    The sun, half sunk in the far west,
    Seem'd mingling with the flood.

    The cooling dews their balm distill'd; A holy joy our bosoms thrill'd;
    Our thoughts were free as air;
    And by one impulse moved, did we
    Together pour, instinctively,
    Our songs of gladness there.

    The green-wood waved its shade hard by:
    While thus we wove our harmony:
    Lured by the mystic strain,
    A snow-white hare, that long had been
    Peering from forth her covert green,
    Came bounding o'er the plain.

    Her beauty 'twas a joy to note;
    The pureness of her downy coat,
    Her wild, yet gentle eye;
    The pleasure that, despite her fear,
    Had led the timid thing so near,
    To list our minstrelsy!

    All motionless, with head inclined,
    She stood, as if her heart divined
    The impulses of ours,
    Till the last note had died, and then
    Turn'd half reluctantly again
    Back to her green-wood bowers.

    Once more the magic sounds we tried;
    Again the hare was seen to glide
    From out her sylvan shade;
    Again, as joy had given her wings,
    Fleet as a bird she forward springs
    Along the dewy glade.

    Go, happy thing! disport at will;
    Take thy delight o'er vale and hill,
    Or rest in leafy bower:
    The harrier may beset thy way,
    The cruel snare thy feet betray!
    Enjoy thy little hour!

    We know not, and we ne'er may know,
    The hidden springs of joy and wo
    That deep within thee lie:
    The silent workings of thy heart,
    They almost seem to have a part
    With our humanity!

  6. The Chameleon

    by James Merrick

    Oft has it been my lot to mark
    A proud, conceited, talking spark,
    With eyes that hardly served at most
    To guard their master ’gainst a post;
    Yet round the world the blade has been,
    To see whatever could be seen.
    Returning from his finish’d tour,
    Grown ten times perter than before,
    Whatever word you chance to drop,
    The travell’d fool your mouth will stop.
    “Sir, if my judgment you’ll allow,
    I’ve seen, and sure I ought to know.”
    So begs you’d pay a due submission,
    And acquiesce in his decision.

    Two travellers of such a cast,
    As o’er Arabia’s wilds they pass’d,
    And on their way, in friendly chat,
    Now talk’d of this, and then of that,
    Discoursed awhile, ’mongst other matter,
    Of the Chameleon’s form and nature.
    “A stranger animal,” cries one,
    “Sure never lived beneath the sun:
    A lizard’s body lean and long,
    A fish’s head, a serpent’s tongue,
    Its foot with triple claw disjoin’d,
    And what a length of tail behind!
    How slow its pace! And then its hue!
    Who ever saw so fine a blue?”

    “Hold, there!” the other quick replies;
    “'Tis green; I saw it with these eyes,
    As late with open mouth it lay,
    And warm’d it in the sunny ray.
    Stretch’d at its ease the beast I view’d,
    And saw it eat the air for food.”
    “I’ve seen it, sir, as well as you,
    And must again affirm it blue.
    At leisure I the beast survey’d
    Extended in the cooling shade.”

    “'Tis green, ’tis green, sir, I assure ye.”
    “Green!” cries the other in a fury;
    “Why, sir, d’ye think I’ve lost my eyes?”
    “’Twere no great loss,” the friend replies;
    “For if they always serve you thus,
    You’ll find them but of little use.”
    So high at last the contest rose,
    From words they almost came to blows,
    When luckily came by a third;
    To him the question they referr’d,
    And begg’d he’d tell them, if he knew,
    Whether the thing was green or blue.

    “Sirs,” cries the umpire, “cease your pother;
    The creature’s neither one nor t’other.
    I caught the animal last night,
    And view’d it o’er by candle-light.
    I mark’d it well; ’twas black as jet.
    You stare! But, sirs, I’ve got it yet,
    And can produce it.” “Pray, sir, do;
    I’ll lay my life the thing is blue.”
    “And I’ll be sworn, that when you’ve seen
    The reptile, you’ll pronounce him green.”

    “Well, then, at once to ease the doubt,”
    Replies the man, “I’ll turn him out;
    And when before your eyes I’ve set him,
    If you don’t find him black, I’ll eat him.”
    He said; and full before their sight
    Produced the beast, and lo! ’twas white.
    Both stared; the man look’d wondrous wise.
    “My children,” the Chameleon cries
    (Then first the creature found a tongue),
    “You all are right, and all are wrong.
    When next you talk of what you view,
    Think others see as well as you;
    Nor wonder if you find that none
    Prefers your eyesight to his own.”

  7. To a Rabbit

    by Helen M. Johnson

    Go to the green wood, go
    I oft shall sigh for thee,—
    And yet rejoice to know,
    That thou art sporting free.

    Go to the meadows green,
    Where summer holds her reign;
    When winter spoils the scene
    Wilt thou return again?

    A shelter thou wouldst find
    From every howling storm;
    The heart thou leav'st behind
    Would still be true and warm.

    Why dost thou struggle thus?
    Does every balmy breeze
    That softly fanneth us,
    Tell of the waving trees?

    Do yonder happy birds
    That sing for thee and me,
    For chorus have the words
    So precious—"I am free?"

    Go then, as free as they,
    As light and happy roam
    With thy companions gay,
    Safe in thy forest home.

    There—thou art gone; farewell!
    My heart leaps up with thine;
    And I rejoice to tell
    Thou art no longer mine.

    I could not breathe the air
    Where pining captives dwell;
    My freedom thou wilt share,
    With joy then, fare-thee-well.

  8. The Rhinoceros

    by Annette Wynne

    The rhinoceros walks around, he's large but makes less noise
    And does less damage I am sure than certain girls and boys.

  9. Kindness to Animals

    Abraham Lincoln saving an animal
    Abraham Lincoln showing kindness to an animal
    by Anonymous. This old poem teaches the virtue of showing kindness and regard for all living things. The principle is further illustrated in an old Abraham Lincoln anecdote his friends recorded about the time when he stopped to save a young robin.

    Little children, never give
    Pain to things that feel and live:
    Let the gentle robin come
    For the crumbs you save at home,—
    As his meat you throw along
    He'll repay you with a song;
    Never hurt the timid hare
    Peeping from her green grass lair,
    Let her come and sport and play
    On the lawn at close of day;
    The little lark goes soaring high
    To the bright windows of the sky,
    Singing as if 'twere always spring,
    And fluttering on an untired wing,—
    Oh! let him sing his happy song,
    Nor do these gentle creatures wrong.

    The Story of Abraham Lincoln and the Robins

    One day in spring four men were riding on horseback along a country road. These men were lawyers, and they were going to the next town to attend court.

    There had been a rain, and the ground was very soft. Water was dripping from the trees, and the grass was wet.

    The four lawyers rode along, one behind another; for the pathway was narrow, and the mud on each side of it was deep. They rode slowly, and talked and laughed and were very jolly.

    As they were passing through a grove of small trees, they heard a great fluttering over their heads and a feeble chirping in the grass by the roadside.

    "Stith! stith! stith!" came from the leafy branches above them.

    "Cheep! cheep! cheep!" came from the wet grass.

    "What is the matter here?" asked the first lawyer, whose name was Speed. "Oh, it's only some old robins!" said the second lawyer, whose name was Hardin. "The storm has blown two of the little ones out of the nest. They are too young to fly, and the mother bird is making a great fuss about it."

    "What a pity! They'll die down there in the grass," said the third lawyer, whose name I forget.

    "Oh, well! They're nothing but birds," said Mr. Hardin. "Why should we bother?"

    "Yes, why should we?" said Mr. Speed.

    The three men, as they passed, looked down and saw the little birds fluttering in the cold, wet grass. They saw the mother robin flying about, and crying to her mate.

    Then they rode on, talking and laughing as before. In a few minutes they had forgotten about the birds.

    But the fourth lawyer, whose name was Abraham Lincoln, stopped. He got down from his horse and very gently took the little ones up in his big warm hands.

    They did not seem frightened, but chirped softly, as if they knew they were safe.

    "Never mind, my little fellows," said Mr. Lincoln "I will put you in your own cozy little bed."

    Then he looked up to find the nest from which they had fallen. It was high, much higher than he could reach.

    But Mr. Lincoln could climb. He had climbed many a tree when he was a boy. He put the birds softly, one by one, into their warm little home. Two other baby birds were there, that had not fallen out. All cuddled down together and were very happy.

    Soon the three lawyers who had ridden ahead stopped at a spring to give their horses water.

    "Where is Lincoln?" asked one.

    All were surprised to find that he was not with them.

    "Do you remember those birds?" said Mr. Speed. "Very likely he has stopped to take care of them."

    In a few minutes Mr. Lincoln joined them. His shoes were covered with mud; he had torn his coat on the thorny tree.

    "Hello, Abraham!" said Mr. Hardin. "Where have you been?"

    "I stopped a minute to give those birds to their mother," he answered.

    "Well, we always thought you were a hero," said Mr. Speed. "Now we know it."

    Then all three of them laughed heartily. They thought it so foolish that a strong man should take so much trouble just for some worthless young birds.

    "Gentlemen," said Mr. Lincoln, "I could not have slept to-night, if
    I had left those helpless little robins to perish in the wet grass."

    Abraham Lincoln afterwards became very famous as a lawyer and statesman. He was elected president. Next to Washington he was the greatest American.

    Story written by James Baldwin