When the Tinoceras snooped about,
And the Pterodactyl flapped its wings,
When the Brontops with the warty snout
Noseyed around for herbs and things,
Would I have bothered myself o’ermuch
About divine afflatus and such?
The Dinotherium flourished then;
The Pterygotus lashed the seas;
The Rhamphorhynchus prospered when
The Scaphognathus perched in trees;
And every creature, wild and tame,
Rejoiced in some rococo name.
Pause and ponder: who could write
A triolet or roundelay
While a Megatherium yawped all night
And a Hesperornis yamped all day,
While now and again the bray sonorous
Of Glyptodon Asper swelled the chorus?
If I’d been almost anything
But a poet, I might have got along;
Those extinct monsters of hoof and wing
Were not conducive to lyric song;
So Nature reserved this tender bard
For the kindlier age of Pork and Lard.