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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Jarvis Keiley

The Song of the Jellyfish

AS the waves slip over my cuticle sleek,

They tickle my soul with glee,

And I shake with a visceral, saccharine joy,

In the place where my ribs should be.

For I’m simply a lump of limpid lard,

With a gluey sort of a wish

To pass my time in the oozing slime—

In the home of the jellyfish.

But I’m happy in having no bones to break

In my unctuous, wavering form,

And I haven’t a trace, nor, indeed, any place,

For the dangerous vermiform.

For I’m built on the strictest economy plan,

And the model was made in a rush,

While essaying to think almost drives me to drink,

For I’m simply a mass of mush.

At night, when I slide on the sandy beach,

And the moonbeams pierce me through,

The tears arise in my gelatine eyes,

And I gurgle a sob or two.

For I wonder—ah, me!—in the time to come,

When the days are no longer young,

What fish’s digestion will suffer congestion

When the end of my song is sung.