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Squirrel Poems

Table of Contents

  1. The Flying Squirrel by Mary Burt
  2. The Flying Squirrel by Amos Russel Wells
  3. To A City-Park Squirrel by Amos Russel Wells
  4. The Squirrel by John B. Tabb
  5. The Squirrel by William Cowper
  6. Squirrels by Isaac McLellan
  7. The Nimble Squirrel by W. Browne
  8. The Fox Squirrel by Horace Dumont Herr

  1. The Flying Squirrel

    by Mary Burt.

    Of all the woodland creatures,
    The quaintest little sprite
    Is the dainty flying squirrel
    In vest of shining white,
    In coat of silver gray,
    And vest of shining white.

    His furry Quaker jacket
    Is trimmed with stripe of black;
    A furry plume to match it
    Is curling o'er his back;
    New curved with every motion,
    His plume curls o'er his back.

    No little new-born baby
    Has pinker feet than he;
    Each tiny toe is cushioned
    With velvet cushions three;
    Three wee, pink, velvet cushions
    Almost too small to see.

    Who said, "The foot of baby
    Might tempt an angel's kiss"?
    I know a score of school-boys
    Who put their lips to this,—
    This wee foot of the squirrel,
    And left a loving kiss.

    The tiny thief has hidden
    My candy and my plum;
    Ah, there he comes unbidden
    To gently nip my thumb,—
    Down in his home (my pocket)
    He gently nips my thumb.

    How strange the food he covets,
    The restless, restless wight;—
    Fred's old stuffed armadillo
    He found a tempting bite,
    Fred's old stuffed armadillo,
    With ears a perfect fright.

    The Lady Ruth's great bureau,
    Each foot a dragon's paw!
    The midget ate the nails from
    His famous antique claw.
    Oh, what a cruel beastie
    To hurt a dragon's claw!

    To autographic copies
    Upon my choicest shelf,—
    To every dainty volume
    The rogue has helped himself.
    My books! Oh dear! No matter!
    The rogue has helped himself.

    And yet, my little squirrel,
    Your taste is not so bad;
    You've swallowed Caird completely
    And psychologic Ladd.
    Rosmini you've digested,
    And Kant in rags you've clad.

    Gnaw on, my elfish rodent!
    Lay all the sages low!
    My pretty lace and ribbons,
    They're yours for weal or woe!
    My pocket-book's in tatters
    Because you like it so.

  2. The Flying Squirrel

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Down the chimney's treacherous way
    A flying squirrel fell one day,
    And, terror-stricken, flew around
    With scratching sound and bumping sound,
    Behind the pictures, chairs, and vases,
    In all obscure, protecting places.
    And how persistently, with shout,
    And flapping cloth and poker stout,
    We tried to drive the rascal out

    There was the sunny world outside,
    And doors and windows open wide,
    Yet that poor beastie, foolish-wise,
    With quivering breast and frightened eyes,
    His little body one wild fear.
    He darted there and scuttled here,
    But shunned, the silly! o'er and o'er,
    The open windows and the door.

    Till last a nervous, lucky blow
    Worked the poor fool a happy woe,—
    Struck him to floor, a furry heap,
    And there he lay as if asleep.
    We took him up with tender care
    And bore him to the outer air;
    When suddenly his heady eyes
    Snapped open in a glad surprise;
    "Too good," he thought it, "to be true.
    But yet I'll try," and off he flew!

    And so, dear human squirrels,we,
    Caught where it is not best to be,
    By some mischance or likelier sin,
    The same wild blundering course begin.
    We rave, we faint, we fly, we fall,
    We dash our heads against the wall,
    We scramble there, we scurry here.
    We palpitate in nameless fear,
    In stupid corners still we hide,
    And miss the windows, open wide.

    Till last, struck down by some stern blow
    That seems a climax to our woe,
    As there we lie in helplessness,
    God's great, strong hand of tenderness
    Closes around us, lifts us high,
    And bears us forth beneath the sky,
    And leaves us where we ought to be,
    Under blue heavens, glad, and free.

  3. To A City-Park Squirrel

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Dear little exile from woodlands dear,
    How can you keep your wilderness grace,
    How can you bound so merrily here,
    Shut in this narrow and formal place?

    Still your fancies are forest-free,
    Still as gallant you swing and glide
    From dusty tree to skeleton tree
    As once you roamed through the woodlands wide.

    Surely you must, on a witching night,
    Flee from the prisoning haunts of men,
    Over the housetops take your flight,
    And bathe yourself in the woods again!

  4. The Squirrel

    by John B. Tabb

    Who combs you, little Squirrel?
    And do you twist and twirl
    When some one puts the papers on
    To keep your tail in curl?

    And must you see the dentist
    For every tooth you break?
    And are you apt from eating nuts
    To get the stomach-ache?

  5. Squirrels

    by Isaac McLellan


    When soft May breezes fan th' awaking woods,
    And with her fairy wand the blue-ey'd Spring
    Touches the swelling blossoms and the buds,
    "Waving with warm caresses twig and spray,
    So dead and wither'd in their winter trance,
    Then from his secret hole in mossy wall
    Or hollow tree the striped squirrel peeps.

    Then comes the saucy chipmunk from his den
    To seek his food; he trips across the road,
    He skims the stony wall or wayside rail,
    Or, perch'd erect upon some swinging bough,
    Loud chatters to his mate in endless talk.
    High up each tree he clambers, now aloft
    Swinging on tapering branch that tops the wood,
    And now darts down the rough and gnarled boles,
    Or skips across the sward from tree to tree,
    Then oft the gunner comes with dire intent,
    Or idle schoolboy in his holiday.
    As fades the year and falls the shivering leaf
    Forth come the village maidens to the wood,
    To gather the blue grapes that load the vine
    And dropping nuts that strew the forest floor.
    Then frequent on the naked boughs is seen
    The nimble squirrels. Now erect he sits
    With plumy, bushy tail and uprais'd paws,
    Seeking the nutty spoil; anon he leaps
    From branch to branch, the gunner's easy prey.
    Far in the West, where Illinois' great stream
    Flows thro' the prairies islanded with groves,
    The sleek black squirrels build their lofty nests,
    And the fox-squirrel, noblest of his race,
    Feeds on the bounteous mast that strews the ground;
    At edge of corn-field, on some pasture-oak
    Or towering chestnut, he delights to build,
    And fills his granary with ivory nuts
    And golden wheat and juicy Indian-corn.

  6. The Nimble Squirrel

    by W. Browne

    Then as a nimble squirrel from the wood,
    Ranging the hedges for his filbert food,
    Sits pertly on a bough his brown nuts cracking,
    And from the shell the sweet white kernel taking,
    Till with their crooks and bags a sort of boys,
    To share with him, come with so great a noise
    That he is forced to leave a nut nigh broke,
    And for his life leap to a neighbour oak,

    Thence to a beech, thence to a row of ashes;
    Whilst through the quagmires and red water plashes
    The boys run dabbling thorough thick and thin,
    One tears his hose, another breaks his shin,
    This, torn and tattered, hath with much ado
    Got by the briars; and that hath lost his shoe:
    This drops his band; that headlong falls for haste;
    Another cries behind for being last:
    With sticks and stones, and many a sounding hollow,
    The little fool with no small sport they follow,
    Whilst be from tree to tree, from spray to spray,
    Gets to the wood and hides him in his dray.

    The beech-burrs burst,
    And the nuts down-patter;
    The red squirrels chatter
    O'er the wealth disperst.

    – Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
    A Song of Regret
  7. The Squirrel

    by William Cowper

    Drawn from his refuge in some lonely elm
    That age or injury has hollow'd deep,
    Where, on his bed of wool and matted leaves,
    He has outslept the winter, ventures forth
    To frisk a while, and bask in the warm sun,
    The squirrel, flippant, pert, and full of play.
    He sees me, and at once, swift as a bird,
    Ascends the neighbouring beech; there whisks his brush,
    And perks his ears, and stamps and scolds aloud,
    With all the prettiness of feign'd alarm,
    And anger insignificantly fierce.

  8. The Fox Squirrel

    by Horace Dumont Herr

    O the merry fox squirrel
    Lives up in a tree,
    And happy he is
    As happy can be;
    His coat it is sleek,
    His eyes they are bright,
    And he plays all the day
    And sleeps all the night.

    He's a sly little rogue,
    And always on guard,
    Whether up in a tree,
    Or down in the yard;
    At bark of a dog,
    Or bawl of a cow,
    Then he sits up to hear
    And see what's the row.

    He can run up a tree
    As easy and fast
    As sailors the ropes
    Run up to the mast;
    From ends of the twigs,
    High up in the air,
    He can nip off the nut
    And eat it up there.

    For the little fox squirrel
    Is an acrobat,
    He jumps a broad jump,
    And never falls flat
    When swinging aloft
    On his leafy trapeze
    In the green forest tent
    Of glossy oak trees.

    And he's saucy sometimes,
    And sits on a rail
    And chatters and barks
    And waves his brush tail;
    Approach, and he's gone,
    With flourish and flash,
    Up a cottonwood tree,
    An oak, or an ash.

    And a forager's life
    Is the life that he lives,
    He takes what he wants
    And nothing he gives;
    With corn on the stalk,
    And nuts on the tree,
    In the field or the woods,
    He's equally free.

    As a matter of course,
    A squirrel like that
    By nature must be
    An aristocrat,
    His comp'ny select,
    His station be high
    As the finch and the jay
    And the oriole fly.

    So a villa he builds,
    For summer retreat,
    Where hammock'd in leaves
    He's shielded from heat;
    His great ragged nest,
    Far out on a limb,
    You may see very plain,
    But can not see him.

    And his winter-time home
    Is castled high walls
    Of round-tower'd oak,
    Whose long crooked halls
    Are hollow old limbs—
    A safest retreat
    From his deadliest foes,
    From frost and from sleet.

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