What, all Belgravia grand and fine,
Was once a mess of marsh and lakes?
PROFESSOR OWEN, be it thine
To prove it in a brace of shakes.
Tell doubters that they need not sneer;
Nor set their puddle-minds in storm;
For all the ancient life is here,
And only changed in outward form
The slimy reptile here, no doubt,
Wriggled and crawled in greed or malice:
Now see the Courtier creep about
Near as he dares to yonder palace.
If tadpoles in the marsh were black,
There is one CONINGSBY can tell
Belgravias Tadpoles swim in track
Where Tapers guide them to Pall Mall.
If the old lake was rich in toads,
Look out, and youll be sure to meet em;
If not, it is because such loads
Of people have delight to eat em.
With cackling ducks the old lagoon
At times, perchance, alive was seen;
Our Ducks come out each afternoon,
And chatter in their Crinoline.
Lay serpents in the wet nooks twined?
We still can point them out at need:
Search any street, and you shall find
Some home empoisoned by their breed.
Doubtful if Thames were ever den
Where the old monsters made their feasts,
But if wed Mega-Theria then,
We still can show a few great Beasts.
Adjutants or Gigantic Cranes,
Croaked oer the marsh with voices hard.
The first at yonder barracks trains,
The Cranes are loud in CUBITTS yard.
Just as "in earth there is no beast
Buts rendered in some fish of sea,"
One would not say wed lost the least
Of that old marshs family.