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Kangaroo Poems

Table of Contents

  1. The Ambitious Kangaroo by Anonymous
  2. The Kangaroo by Barron Field

  1. The Ambitious Kangaroo

    by Amos Russel Wells

    They held a great meeting a king to select.
    And the kangaroo rose in a dignified way.
    And said, "I'm the one you should surely elect,
    For I can out-leap every beast here today."
    Said the eagle, "How high can you climb toward the sky?"
    Said the nightingale, "Favor us, please, with a song."
    Said the hawk, "Let us measure our powers of eye!"
    Said the lion, "Come, wrestle and prove you are strong!"
    But the kangaroo sald, "It would surely be best,
    In our choice of a king, to make leaping the test!"

  2. The Kangaroo

    by Barron Field

    Kanagaroo, Kangaroo!
    Thou Spirit of Australia,
    That redeems from utter failure,
    From perfect desolation,
    And warrants the creation
    Of this fifth part of the Earth,
    Which would seem an after-birth,
    Not conceiv'd in the Beginning
    (For GOD bless'd His work at first,
    And saw that it was good),
    But emerg'd at the first sinning,
    When the ground was therefore curst; —
    And hence this barren wood!

    Kangaroo, Kangaroo!
    Tho' at first sight we should say,
    In thy nature that there may
    Contradiction be involv'd,
    Yet, like discord well resolv'd,
    It is quickly harmonized.
    Sphynx or mermaid realiz'd,
    Or centaur unfabulous,
    Would scarce be more prodigious,
    Or Pegasus poetical,
    Or hippogriff — chimeras all!
    But, what Nature would compile,
    Nature knows to reconcile;
    And Wisdom, ever at her side,
    Of all her children's justified.

    She had made the squirrel fragile;
    She had made the bounding hart;
    But a third so strong and agile
    Was beyond ev'n Nature's art;
    So she join'd the former two
    In thee, Kangaroo!
    To describe thee, it is hard:
    Converse of the camélopard,
    Which beginneth camel-wise,
    But endeth of the panther size,
    Thy fore half, it would appear,
    Had belong'd to some "small deer,"
    Such as liveth in a tree;
    By thy hinder, thou should'st be
    A large animal of chace,
    Bounding o'er the forest's space; —
    Join'd by some divine mistake,
    None but Nature's hand can make —
    Nature, in her wisdom's play,
    On Creation's holiday.

    For howsoe'er anomalous,
    Thou yet art not incongruous,
    Repugnant or preposterous.
    Better-proportion'd animal,
    More graceful or ethereal,
    Was never follow'd by the hound,
    With fifty steps to thy one bound.
    Thou can'st not be amended: no;
    Be as thou art; thou best art so.

    When sooty swans are once more rare,
    And duck-moles the Museum's care,
    Be still the glory of this land,
    Happiest Work of finest Hand!