Bear and Whale (Poem by James McIntyre)

Suggested Poem

Bear and Whale

By James McIntyre

A fable of the British and Russian dispute of 1885.


Russians suffer sad distress
For lack of freedom of the press,
But oft' times they are full able
To enlighten with a fable.

And they enjoy a humorous tale
Of a bear and monster whale,
The bear he went to the sea shore
The mighty ocean to explore.

And this it quick enraged the whale
Who beat the ocean with his tail,
With foaming words he told the bear
That he would strip his hide and hair.

If he ever found him more
Encroaching on his sea shore,
The bear replied I will not quail
At frothing words of any whale.

For you are a lump of blubber,
Whale rejoined you are land lubber,
Thus bandying epithets so vile,
Of bear grease and of whale oil.

Sharks and fishes of the ocean
Were thrown into great commotion,
The hawks and eagles of the air,
Lions and tigers gathered there.

Bear he wished the whale to slaughter,
But he was afraid of water,
The great whale feared that he might strand
If he ventured on the dry land.

So at last great Russia Bear
Went back again to his own lair,
And British whale content to be
Greatest monarch of the sea.

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