1 The elephant, when radiant soul doth life,

2 Devoutly bows with elevated eyes. 

3 He offers up his morning sacrifice. 

4 Some may, perhaps, this vain religion sleight,

5 But of all creatures, I would worship light. 

6 Their valor to the Orient Kingdoms tire

7 For in the field they’ll bravely fighting die.

8 And when the Indians these beasts do hire 

9 To launch their ships, when one begins to tire.

10 These bring another to lift in his place

11 But rather than live to know disgrace, 

12 He’ll draw and shove not only until he tires, 

13 But straining bursts and so his soul expires. 

14 As rather choosing to abrupt his story 

15 Then live and let another take his glory. 

16 For chastity this gallant creature’s crowned. 

17 For when he has a lovely female found,

18 And mutual flames do in their bosoms glow. 

19 They modestly into the shades do go 

20 There, free from company that might annoy,

21 They innocently each other do enjoy. 

22 Yet, he’s so tender of his reputation, 

23 He kills his female if he doubts scortation 

24 By this, the gallants of our age may see, 

25 In being atheists worse than beasts they be

26 Like them in noble actions strive to exceed 

27 Each other, this want did make us bleed. 

28 In our brave King, for had you valiant been 

29 So sad a change as this, we never had seen. 

30 For had not Lords in Noble breeding failed, 

31 Tinkers and cobblers never had prevailed. 

32 But we, out wants and losses may deplore,

33 But sin alone that sets us on the score. 

34 Then yet be chaste and those you choose in youth 

35 Love constantly, for truth deserves truth. 

36 Neglect them not, to drink, rant, throw the die, 

37 For to temptation then they open lie. 

38 In common meeting they fool out their days,

39 At balls, and taverns, seeing wanton plays. 

40 To censure you in earnest I am loath, 

41 But sure you want or valor, will, or both. 

42 Your ladies are so lavish of their fames. 

43 They have quite out gone our wanton city dames. 

44 For honors sake look foot, for shame at least. 

45 You see, a wittol is below a beast. 


The Elephant’s Role

By Julia M. Redlinger

The elephant is a magnificent beast, the largest land animal in the world. Not only does it contain immense strength, but also high intelligence and sensitivity. Many members of the Hindu religion believe that the elephant is sacred; some of their most important gods being reincarnated as elephants. Over time, elephants have served as mighty, majestical and intelligent beasts and played a large role in influencing writers around the world.

Of the Elephant

From Edward Topsell, History of Four-Footed Beasts 

There is no creature among all the Beasts of the world, which hath so great and ample demon∣stration [861] of the power and wisdom of Almighty God as the Elephant: both for proportion of body and disposition of spirit; and it is admirable to behold the industry of our ancient fore-fa∣thers, and noble desire to benefit us their posterity, by searching into the qualities of every Beast, to discover what benefits or harms may come by them to mankinde: having never been afraid either of the wildest, but they tamed them; the fiercest, but they ruled them; and the greatest, but they also set upon them. Witness for this part the Elephant, being like a living Mountain in quantity and outward appearance, yet by them so handled, as no little Dog became more serviceable and tractable.



Topsell, E., 1572-1625?. (1658). The history of four-footed beasts and serpents describing at large their true and lively figure, their several names, conditions, kinds, virtues ... countries of their breed, their love and hatred to mankind, and the wonderful work by edward topsell ; whereunto is now added, the theater of insects, or, lesser living creatures ... by T. muffet .. London, Printed by E. Cotes for G. Sawbridge ... T. Williams ... and T. Johnson .. Retrieved from https://colorado.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.colorado.idm.oclc.org/docview/2240953578?accountid=14503