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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Song of the Ichthyosaurus
By Joseph Viktor von Scheffel (1826–1886)
 
From ‘Gaudeamus’: Translation of Rossiter Worthington Raymond

THERE’S a rustling in the rushes,
  There’s a flashing in the sea;
There’s a tearful Ichthyosaurus
  Swims hither mournfully!
 
He weeps o’er the modern corruption,        5
  Compared with the good old times,
And don’t know what is the matter
  With the Upper Jura limes!
 
The hoary old Plesiosaurus
  Does naught but quaff and roar;        10
And the Pterodactylus lately
  Flew drunk to his own front door!
 
The Iguanodon of the Period
  Grows worse with every stratum;
He kisses the Ichthyosauresses        15
  Whenever he can get at ’em!
 
I feel a catastrophe coming;
  This epoch will soon be done:
And what will become of the Jura
  If such goings-on go on?        20
 
The groaning Ichthyosaurus
  Turns suddenly chalky pale;
He sighs from his steaming nostrils,
  He writhes with his dying tail!
 
In that selfsame hour and minute        25
  Died the whole Saurian stem:
The fossil-oil in their liquor
  Soon put an end to them!
 
And the poet found their story
  Which here he doth indite,        30
In the form of a petrified album-leaf
  Upon a coprolite!
 
 
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