Arthur Guiterman (1871-1943)
High up on the mountains, through a lovely grove of cedars
They came on ferny forest ways and trails that lift and wind,
The bears of many ranges under celebrated leaders
Assembling in a congress for the weal of all their kind.
Black bears, brown bears
Sober bears and clown bears,
Chubby bears and tubby bears and bears austerely planned,
Bears of mild benignity,
Bears of simple dignity,
Coming to the Council of the Bruins of the land.
A most tremendous Grizzly was Exalted Cockalorum;
He didn’t need a gavel for his paw was hard and square.
The meeting was conducted with unparalleled decorum,
For no one ever questioned the decision of the Chair.
Fat bears, lean bears,
Muddy bears and clean bears,
Tawny bears and brawny bears and bears in heavy coats,
Bears of perspicacity,
Bears of much loquacity,
Rumbling ghostly noises in their tummies and their throats.
They argued that their greatest need was more and better honey,
That berries ought to propagate in every vacant space;
They voted that the Teddy Bear was anything but funny,
Demanding his suppression as a Libel on the Race.
Dark bears, light bears,
Stupid bears and bright bears,
Gabby bears and flabby bears and bears of force and will,
Bears of deep humility,
Bears of marked ability,
Dealing with Conditions with extraordinary skill.
Their orators orated on the laxity of morals
Contrasted with the beauty of the early forest den;
They favored arbitration for the settlement of quarrels
And instant abolition of the armaments of men.
Weak bears, strong bears,
Proper bears and wrong bears,
Eager bears and meager bears and bears morose and glum,
Locally admired bears,
Splendidly inspired bears,
Working for the future and the Bear that Is to Come.
They settled mighty matters with miraculous discernment,
They voted a Committee on the Stinginess of Bees,
They voted for a banquet and immediate adjournment
And rolled away like shadows through the vistas of the trees.
Red bears, grey bears,
Gloomy bears and gay bears,
Ambling off in bevies down the boulder-bordered run,
Bears in sweet amenity,
Bears in calm serenity,
Sure that what is voted for is just as good as done.