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Short poem

Richard Garnett (1835-1906)

Our Crocodile

              1Our crocodile, (Psammarathis,
              2A priest at Ombi, told me this,)
              3Our crocodile is good and dear,
              4And eats a damsel once a year.
              5To me unworthy hath he done
              6This favour three times -- one by one
              7Three daughters ate! I praise therefore
              8And honour him for evermore.
              9Each Spring there is an exhibition
            10Of maidens, and a competition.
            11The baffled fair are blank and spiteful,
            12The victor's triumph most delightful.
            13Three months secluded doth she dwell
            14With the high pontiff in his cell,
            15Due-worshipping each deity,
            16And Venus more especially.
            17Then, on an island in the Nile,
            18They take her to our crocodile,
            19He wags his tail, the great jaws stir,
            20And make a happy end of her.
            21B a bo! O you brainless child!
            22(My fourth, sir,) dirty, rude, and wild!
            23You'll break my heart! you'll ne'er be meet
            24For any crocodile to eat!


2] Ombi: modern Negadeh, where once the crocodile was worshipped, according to Juvenal's fifteenth satire.

Online text copyright © 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text:
Publication date note: Richard Garnett, Poems (London: Elkin Mathews and John Lane; Boston: Copeland and Day, 1895): 83-84. PR 4708 G5P6
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition:
Recent editing: 1:2004/6/16

Other poems by Richard Garnett