I opened wide the bath-room door, And all at once switched on the light, When moving swift across the floor I saw a streak of ebon bright: Then quick, with slipper in my hand, Before it could escape,--I slammed. I missed it once, I missed it twice, But got it ere it gained its lair. I fear my words were far from nice, Though d----s with me are rather rare: Then lo! I thought that dying roach Regarded me with some reproach.
Said I: "Don't think I grudge you breath; I hate to spill your greenish gore, But why did you invite your death By straying on my bath-room floor?" "It is because," said he (or she), "Adventure is my destiny.
"By evolution I was planned, And marvellously made as you; And I am led to understand The selfsame God conceived us two: Sire, though the coup de grÃ¢ce you give, Even a roach has right to live."
Said I: "Of course you have a right,-- But not to blot my bath-room floor. Yet though with slipper I may smite, Your doom I morally deplore . . . From cellar gloom to stellar space Let bards and beetles have their place.