Robert Louis Stevenson > A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods > XXX. A Portrait
Stevenson, Robert Louis (1850–1894).  A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods.  1913.
XXX. A Portrait

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         5
  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—  10
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  15
  All over the most holy place; 
And when at length, some golden day, 
  The unfailing sportsman, aiming at, 
Shall bag, me—all the world shall say: 
  Thank God, and there’s an end of that!  20



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