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Category: Funny Animal Poems
       Classic humorous and funny poems about animals, snakes, lions, cats, birds, frogs, and more.

  THE YOUNG GAZELLE  

In early youth, as you may guess,
    I revelled in poetic lore,
And while my schoolmates studied less,
    I resolutely studied Moore.

Those touching lines from "Lalla Rookh,"--
    "Ah, ever thus--" you know them well,
Such root within my bosom took,
    I wished I had a young Gazelle.

Oh, yes! a sweet, a sweet Gazelle,
    "To charm me with its soft black eye,"
So soft, so liquid, that a spell
    Seems in that gem-like orb to lie.

Years, childhood passed, youth fled away,
    My vain desire I'd learned to quell,
Till came that most auspicious day
    When some one gave me a Gazelle.

With care, and trouble, and expense,
    'Twas brought from Afric's northern cape;
It seemed of great intelligence,
    And oh! so beautiful a shape.

Its lustrous, liquid eye was bent
    With special lovingness on me;
No gift that mortal could present
    More welcome to my heart could be.

I brought him food with fond caress,
    Built him a hut, snug, neat, and warm;
I called him "Selim," to express
    The marked s(e)limness of his form.

The little creature grew so tame,
    He "learned to know (the neighbors) well;"
And then the ladies, when they came,
    Oh! how they "nursed that dear Gazelle."

But, woe is me! on earthly ground
    Some ill with every blessing dwells;
And soon to my dismay I found
    That this applies to young Gazelles.

When free allowed to roam indoors,
    The mischief that he did was great;
The walls, the furniture, the floors,
    He made in a terrific state.

He nibbled at the table-cloth,
    And trod the carpet into holes,
And in his gambols, nothing loth,
    Kicked over scuttles full of coals.

To view his image in the glass,
    He reared upon his hinder legs;
And thus one morn I found, alas!
    Two porcelain vases smashed like eggs.

Whatever did his fancy catch
    By way of food, he would not wait
To be invited, but would snatch
    It from one's table, hand, or plate.

He riled the dog, annoyed the cat,
    And scared the goldfish into fits;
He butted through my newest hat,
    And tore my manuscript to bits.

'Twas strange, so light his hooflets weighed,
    His limbs as slender as a hare's,
The noise my little Selim made
    In trotting up and down the stairs.

To tie him up I thought was wise,
    But loss of freedom gave him pain;
I could not stand those pleading eyes,
    And so I let him go again.

How sweet to see him skip and prance
    Upon the gravel or the lawn;
More light in step than fairies' dance,
    More graceful than an English fawn.

But then he spoilt the garden so,
    Trod down the beds, raked up the seeds,
And ate the plants--nor did he show
    The least compunction for his deeds.

He trespassed on the neighbors' ground,
    And broke two costly melon frames,
With other damages--a pound
    To pay, resulted from his games.

In short, the mischief was immense
    That from his gamesome pranks befel,
And, truly, in a double sense,
    He proved a very "dear Gazelle."

At length I sighed--"Ah, ever thus
    Doth disappointment mock each hope;
But 'tis in vain to make a fuss;
    You'll have to go, my antelope."

The chance I wished for did occur;
    A lady going to the East
Was willing; so I gave to her
    That little antelopian beast.

I said, "This antler'd desert child
    In Turkish palaces may roam,
But he is much too free and wild
    To keep in any English home."

Yes, tho' I gave him up with tears,
    Experience had broke the spell,
And if I live a thousand years,
    I'll never have a young Gazelle.

                                     Walter Parke.


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