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The Autobiography of a Monkey   By: (1861-1937)

Book cover

First Page:

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A MONKEY

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FOUND AND PICTURED BY HY. MAYER

VERSES BY ALBERT BIGELOW PAINE

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NEW YORK R. H. RUSSELL

MDCCCXCVII

Copyright 1897 BY ROBERT HOWARD RUSSELL

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PART FIRST.

THE DEPARTURE FROM THE FOREST.

Where the light laughs in through the tree tops And sports with the tangled glade, In the depths of an Afric forest My earliest scenes were laid.

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In a bower that was merry with smilax From the grimace of no where, I woke I was born on the first day of April And they called me a jungle joke.

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And the voices of birds were about me And the beat and the flutter of wing; While morning returned at the trumpet Of Tusky, our elephant king.

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My nurse was a crooning old beldame Who gazed in the palms of my hands And vowed I was destined to travel In many and marvellous lands.

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But little I heeded her croaking, For I gamboled the whole day long, And swung by my tail from the tree top, Or joined in the jungle song.

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THE SONG OF THE JUNGLE.

The Elephant:

Oh, I am the lord of the forest and plain!

The Lion, Tigers, etc.:

And we are the beasts that acknowledge your reign!

The Birds:

And we are the minstrels that come at your call!

The Monkeys:

And we are the jesters that laugh at you all!

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Chorus, All

Oh, yes! Oh, yes! Oh, yes! Oh, yes! The tribes of the jungle are we Our home is the darksome wilderness That never a man shall see.

The Elephant:

Oh, the jungle was meant and was made for my will!

The Lions, Tigers, etc.:

For the sport of the chase and the zest of the kill!

The Birds:

For the beating of wings and the echo of song!

The Monkeys:

For gambol and grimace the whole season long!

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Chorus, All:

Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! Oh, yes! For all of the tribes that be With homes in the tangled wilderness That never a man shall see.

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But, alas, for the boasts of the jungle! The men came among us one day, And one with a box that made music Enticed foolish monkeys away.

The birds and the beasts of the forest Were mute at the marvellous song, But the monkeys crept out of the tree tops An eager and wondering throng.

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The birds and the beasts of the forest Kept hidden and silent that day, But the monkey folk formed a procession And followed the minstrel away.

And thus did we give up the forest To dwell with our brothers, the men Farewell to the beautiful jungle! 'Twas long ere I saw it again!

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PART SECOND.

THE WAYS OF MEN.

Then away to a far distant country On a drift that they said was a ship, And I studied the ways of my master And profited much by the trip.

And we sailed to his home in fair Naples, Where I studied the language of men, And I sat on a bench with his children, But soon we went sailing again.

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And I made some nice friends on the voyage, And engaged in a pretty romance. I charmed all the ladies by climbing, And one of them taught me to dance.

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Yet often I longed for the jungle Its song and the rustle of wing And sometimes at night in my slumber I talked with our elephant king... Continue reading book >>




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