Henry Livingston, Jr.
Henry Livingston's Poetry


WHEN time was young the story goes
The birds and beasts were mortal foes:
The Lion led the latter throng
The Eagle urg'd the birds along.
The Tyger flash'd his lightning eyes,
The Cocks loud clarion reach'd the skies:
Breathing defiance -- Grimly here
Growl'd the relentless savage bear.
Now Turkeys gobbled alarms
And Skunks and field mice rush'd to arms.
A regiment of Moles were brought
Where the heroic Linnets fought.
The ponderous Elephant was plac'd
Where the gigantic Ostrich pac'd;
The Zebra's rough resistance found
From Cassowary's battle ground,
And Wrens would flutter peck & scratch
Where the prim ground squirrel kept his watch.

Neutral, the Bat here stood alone
And arms or panoply had none

Averring o'er and o'er again
He was no beast - Twas very plain -
For he could fly - and stretch'd a wing
There could not be a simpler thing:
He could not be a bird was clear
By pointing to his ears and hair.

While still the rage of battle burn'd
Those subterfuges serv'd his turn;
But when at last the Eagle rose
Superior o'er his flying foes
The Bat was seiz'd to hear his doom
Unlucky culprit! Much too soon.

Sentence pronounced by Judge advocate Crow

Unworthy of meridian light,
Too base for even ebon night,
In twilight only dare to fly
To seize the beetle humming by;
Then hie thee to thy murky place
And muffle there thy recreant face.

          H. L        Ap: 1827

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