'Twas Ever Thus

I never bought a young gazelle,
To glad me with its soft black eye,
But, when it came to know me well,
'Twas sure to butt me on the sly.

I never drilled a cockatoo,
To speak with almost human lip,
But, when a pretty phrase it knew,
'Twas sure to give some friend a nip.

I never trained a collie hound
To be affectionate and mild,
But when I thought a prize I'd found,
'Twas sure to bite my youngest child.

I never kept a tabby kit
To cheer my leisure with its tricks,
But, when we all grew fond of it,
'Twas sure to catch the neighbor's chicks.

I never reared a turtle-dove,
To coo all day with gentle breath,
But, when its life seemed one of love,
'Twas sure to peck its mate to death.

I never--well I never yet--
And I have spent no end of pelf--
Invested money in a pet
That didn't misconduct itself.
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