Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
744. Grizzly
 
By Francis Bret Harte
 
 
COWARD,—of heroic size,
In whose lazy muscles lies
Strength we fear and yet despise;
Savage,—whose relentless tusks
Are content with acorn husks;        5
Robber,—whose exploits ne’er soared
O’er the bee’s or squirrel’s hoard;
Whiskered chin, and feeble nose,
Claws of steel on baby toes,—
Here, in solitude and shade,        10
Shambling, shuffling plantigrade,
Be thy courses undismayed!
 
Here, where Nature makes thy bed,
Let thy rude, half-human tread
  Point to hidden Indian springs,        15
Lost in ferns and fragrant grasses,
  Hovered o’er by timid wings,
Where the wood-duck lightly passes,
Where the wild bee holds her sweets,
Epicurean retreats,        20
Fit for thee, and better than
Fearful spoils of dangerous man.
In thy fat-jowled deviltry
Friar Tuck shall live in thee;
Thou mayest levy tithe and dole;        25
  Thou shalt spread the woodland cheer,
From the pilgrim taking toll;
  Match thy cunning with his fear;
Eat, and drink, and have thy fill;
Yet remain an outlaw still!        30
 

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