Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, GRIZZLY, by FRANCIS BRET HARTE



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GRIZZLY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Coward, - of heroic size
Last Line: Yet remain an outlaw still!
Alternate Author Name(s): Harte, Bret
Subject(s): Animals; Bears


COWARD, -- of heroic size,
In whose lazy muscles lies
Strength we fear and yet despise;
Savage, -- whose relentless tusks
Are content with acorn husks;
Robber, -- whose exploits ne're soared
O'er the bee's or squirrel's hoard;
Whiskered chin, and feeble nose,
Claws of steel on baby toes, --
Here, in solitude and shade,
Shambling, shuffling plantigrade,
Be thy courses undismayed!

Here, where Nature makes thy bed,
Let thy rude, half-human tread
Point to hidden Indian springs,
Lost in ferns and fragrant grasses,
Hovered o'er by timid wings,
Where the wood-duck lightly passes,
Where the wild bee holds her sweets,
Epicurean retreats,
Fit for thee, and better than
fearful spoils of dangerous man.
In thy fat-jowled deviltry
Friar Tuck shall live in thee;
Thou mayest levy tithe and dole;
Thou shalt spread the woodland cheer,
From the pilgrim taking toll;
Match thy cunning with his fear;
Eat, and drink, and have thy fill;
Yet remain an outlaw still!





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