Posted by: Democratic Thinker | November 27, 2009

Monkey See, Monkey Do—Or, In Over Your Head



The Monkey Who Shaved Himself and His Friends.


A MAN who own’d a barber’s shop
At York, and shaved full many a fop,
A monkey kept for their amusement;
He made no other kind of use on ‘t—
This monkey took great observation,
Was wonderful at imitation,
And all he saw the barber do,
He mimic’d straight, and did it too.

It chanced in shop, the dog and cat,
While friseur dined, demurely sat,
Jacko found nought to play the knave in,
So thought he’d try his hand at shaving.
Around the shop in haste he rushes,
And gets the razor, soap, and brushes ;
Now puss he fix’d (no muscle miss stirs)
And lather’d well her beard and whiskers,
Then gave a gash, as he began—
The cat cry’d “waugh!” and off she ran.

Next Towser’s beard he try’d his skill in,
Though Towser seem’d somewhat unwilling:
As badly here again succeeding,
The dog runs howling round and bleeding.

Nor yet was tired our roguish elf;
He ‘d seen the barber shave himself;
So by the glass, upon the table,
He rubs with soap his visage sable,
Then with left hand holds smooth his jaw,—
The razor in his dexter paw;
Around he flourishes and slashes,
Till all his face is seam’d with gashes.
His cheeks despatch’d—his visage thin
He cock’d, to shave beneath his chin;
Drew razor swift as he could pull it,
And cut, from ear to ear, his gullet.


Who cannot write, yet handle pens,
Are apt to hurt themselves and friends.
Though others use them well, yet fools
Should never meddle with edge tools.

David Humphreys.