A treacherous monster is the Shark
He never makes the least remark.
And when he sees you on the sand,
He doesn’t seem to want to land.
He watches you take off your clothes,
And not the least excitement shows.
His eyes do not grow bright or roll,
He has astonishing self-control.
He waits till you are quite undressed,
And seems to take no interest.
And when towards the sea you leap,
He looks as if he were asleep.
But when you once get in his range,
His whole demeanour seems to change.
He throws his body right about,
And his true character comes out.
It’s no use crying or appealing,
He seems to lose all decent feeling.
After this warning you will wish
To keep clear of this treacherous fish.
His back is black, his stomach white,
He has a very dangerous bite.
This poem was written by Lord Alfred Douglas, in 1897. Perhaps it was inspired by the shark jaws held in the Natural History Museum collection in London. In 1831, these jaws were described as having come from a 36 and a half foot shark. They don’t grow to be that big.