Caudal Lecture, A

Philosophy shows us 'twixt monkey and man
One simious line in unbroken extendage;
Development only since first it began,
And chiefly in losing the caudal appendage.
 
Our ancestors' holding was wholly in tail,
And the loss of this feature we claim as a merit;
But though often at tale-bearing people we rail,
'Tis rather a loss than a gain we inherit.
 
The tail was a rudder, a capital thing
To a man who was half, or a quarter, seas over;
And as for a sailor, by that he could cling,
And use for his hands and his feet both discover.
 
In the Arts it would quickly have found out a place;
The painter would use it to steady his pencil;
In music, how handy to pound at the bass!
And then one could write by its coilings prehensile.
 
The Army had gained had the fashion endured,
'Twould carry a sword, or be good in saluting;
If the foe should turn tail, they'd be quickly secured;
Or, used as a lasso, 'twould help in recruiting.
 
To the Force 'twould add force, they could "run 'em in" so
That one to three culprits would find himself equal;
He could collar the two, have the other in tow,
A very good form of the Tale and its Sequel.
 
In life many uses 'twould serve we should see,
A man with no bed could hang cosily snoozing;
'Twould hold an umbrella, hand cups round at tea,
Or a candle support while our novel perusing.
 
In fact, when one thinks of our loss from of old,
It makes us regret that we can't go in for it, or
Wish, like the Dane, we a tail could unfold,
Instead of remaining each one a stump orator.
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

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