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Kingsley Amis, A Song of Experience

by Fiona "Countess of Auchtermuchty" Gregory-Smith

On a quiet Byronic eve, the sun on the river gone down,
We spied a sheep molester drinking on his own,
So we asked him over, feeling sympathetic,
And let him tell of the animals he had known.

He told of vertebrates many, of their pride and fall —
Some had been wary but he had had them all;
Scaly ones, slimy ones, even woolly ones;
None had escaped him — if they tried he ate them.

For seven long years he was satiated;
His desires grew more and more
At night he was tormented,
And tossed about till he was sore.

The porcupines he laid himself on,
The elephants surprised him from behind,
The giraffes and goats he rode on,
The ocelots stood waiting in a line.

He took what ‘Hoops’ Schulze refused,
He had what ‘Ferryman’ Oakley ignored;
What ‘Slim’ Klyve had left over:
‘Horniferous’ Henrey had them all.

At last he knew where they could only fumble;
Wildly in daydreams in/out,
He could perform majestically —
The vertebrates: he had them all!