The Menagerie of the Gods

Our lapdogs and monkeys, our squirrels and cats,
Our parrots, canaries and larks,
Have furnished amusements to many old maids,
And once in a while to young sparks.

In Heaven, where time passes heavily too,
When the gods have no subject to take on,
Jove calls for an eagle he keeps in a mew,
As an old English baron his falcon.

He lets it jump up, on his sofa and chair,
And dip its crooked beak in his cup;
And laughs when it pinches young Ganimede’s ear;
Or eats his ambrosia all up.

Queen Juno who fears from rough play a mishap,
Keeps peacocks with rainbowy tails;
And when she’s disposed to grudge Saturn his nap,
Their screaming or screeching ne’er fails:

Fair Venus most willing coaxes the doves,
That coo, coo and wed on her wrist;
The sparrow her chambermaid *Aglae** loves,
As often, is fondled and kissed.