Extinct Monsters

by Eugene Field

Eugene Field

Oh, had I lived in the good old days,
When the Ichthyosaurus ramped around,
When the Elasmosaur swam the bays,
And the Sivatherium pawed the ground,
Would I have spent my precious time
At weaving golden thoughts in rhyme?
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.

Last updated January 14, 2019