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Robert Louis Stevenson

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Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson

A Portrait

From Underwoods
I am a kind of farthing dip,
  Unfriendly to the nose and eyes;
A blue-behinded ape, I skip
  Upon the trees of Paradise.

At mankind's feast, I take my place
  In solemn, sanctimonious state,
And have the air of saying grace
  While I defile the dinner plate.

I am the "smiler with the knife,"
  The battener upon garbage, I --
Dear Heaven, with such a rancid life,
  Were it not better far to die?

Yet still, about the human pale,
  I love to scamper, love to race,
To swing by my irreverent tail
  All over the most holy place;

And when at length, some golden day,
  The unfailing sportsman, aiming at
Shall bag, me -- al the world shall say
  Thank God, and there's an end of that!

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