Sunset RopeOh, ponder, friend, the porcupine;Refresh your recollection,
And sit a moment, to defineHis means of self-protection.How truly fortified is he!Where is the beast his double
In forethought of emergencyAnd readiness for trouble?Recall his figure, and his shade-How deftly planned and clearly
For slithering through the dappled gladeUnseen, or pretty nearly.Yet should an alien eye discernHis presence in the woodland,
How little has he left to learnOf self-defense! My good land!For he can run, as swift as sound,To where his goose may hang high-
Or thrust his head against the groundAnd tunnel half to Shanghai;Or he can climb the dizziest bough-Unhesitant, mechanic-
And, resting, dash from off his browThe bitter beads of panic;Or should pursuers press him hot,One scarcely needs to mention
His quick and cruel barbs, that gotShakespearean attention;Or driven to his final ditch,To his extremest thicket,
He'll fight with claws and molars (whichIs not considered cricket).How amply armored, he, to fendThe fear of chase that haunts him!
How well prepared our little friend!-And who the devil wants him?
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