Do not harm the heffalump;
he would not eat your rose.
Observe him as he peels a tree
- such delicacy -
partakes of nuncheon, and goes
slow thunder-rolling through the bamboo clumps
(wistful Chinese bamboo-clumps,
visual haiku bamboo-clumps)
complements their poetry
with his sev’ral tons of prose.
Examine now the heffalump’s
high brow and huge physique.
Does he know the Rule of Three ?
Are his declensions weak?
Can he use
those massive thews, are wind and limb quite sound ?
Why does he freight
his awesome weight with gut so near the ground ?
Can he conjure up scenes of mirth,
an elephantine Life Divine, gigantic chic ?
Can he move his ponderous girth
in light-foot waltzes by the hour ?
Can his forehead wide, his wrinkled hide,
cloak the oppressive sense of power ?
(By one fairly common measure
of greatness, worth and such-like things,
his heffalumpen stature grows : out-topping Caesar
and the sorry Sphinx
by virtue of his nose.)
Shall we now judge the heffalump,
his intellect and charm ?
His mien is calm
and yet sometimes his orbs gleam quite distracted;
his spiring tooth, his bulk uncouth,
give cause for some alarm.
If you still seek the cause whereby,
the deeper darker reason why,
his sundry claims to grace are all hereby rejected -
to tell the truth,
it is because the heffabrute
just doesn’t give a damn.
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