Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE TURTLE AND THE FLAMINGO, by JAMES THOMAS FIELDS



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THE TURTLE AND THE FLAMINGO, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A lively young turtle lived down by the banks
Last Line: The green, but a very mock turtle!
Subject(s): Flamingos; Turtles; Tortoises


A lively young turtle lived down by the banks
Of a dark-rolling stream called the Jingo,
And one summer day, as he went out to play,
Fell in love with a charming flamingo, --
An enormously genteel flamingo!
An expansively crimson flamingo!
A beautiful, bouncing flamingo!
Spake the turtle in tones like a delicate wheeze:
"To the water I've oft seen you in go,
And your form has impressed itself deep on my shell,
You perfectly modeled flamingo!
You uncommonly brilliant flamingo!
You tremendously scorching flamingo!
You inexpres-si-ble flamingo!
"To be sure, I'm a turtle and you are a belle,
And my language is not your fine lingo;
But smile on me, tall one, and be my bright flame,
You miraculous, wondrous flamingo!
You blazingly beauteous flamingo!
You turtle-absorbing flamingo!
You inflammably gorgeous flamingo!"
Then the proud bird blushed redder than ever before,
And that was quite un-nec-ces-sa-ry,
And she stood on one leg and looked out of one eye,
The position of things for to vary, --
This aquatical, musing flamingo!
This dreamy, uncertain flamingo!
This embarrassing, harassing flamingo!
Then she cried to the quadruped, greatly amazed,
"Why your passion toward me do you hurtle?
I'm an ornithological wonder of grace,
And you're an illogical turtle, --
A waddling, impossible turtle!
A low-minded, grass-eating turtle!
A highly improbable turtle!
"I measure four feet from my nose to my toes --
Just observe the flamboyant spec-tacle!
Do you think a flamingo like me would stoop down
Her fortune with yours, sir, to shackle?
I can't, you pre-pos-terous turtle!
You aldermaniculous turtle!
You damp and ridiculous turtle!"
Then the turtle sneaked off with his nose to the ground,
And never more looked at the lasses;
And falling asleep, while indulging his grief,
Was gobbled up whole by Agassiz, --
The peripatetic Agassiz!
The turtle-dissecting Agassiz!
The illustrious, industrious Agassiz.
Go with me to Cambridge some cool pleasant day,
And the skeleton lover I'll show you;
He's in a hard case, but he'll look in your face,
Pretending (the rogue!) he don't know you!
Oh, the deeply deceptive young turtle!
The double-faced, glassy-cased turtle!
The green, but a very mock turtle!





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