Men said, but here I know they lied, The owl was of a sullen clan Whose voice upon the lone hillside Forboded ill to mouse and man— A terror noiseless in the flight, A hooknosed hoodlum of the night. But I have found another breed, An owl of fine artistic feelings, A connoisseur of wine & weed Who flutters under frescoed ceilings Nor scorns to bid the passing guest Abide a season in his nest. I saw him on the staircase sit And blandly wink at jibe & joke, An arbiter twixt wit & wit, A god enshrined in baccy smoke While round his pedestal there beat The clamour of his servants' feet. Some toiled in journalistic fetters And some in stocks—and stand up collars— Some worked his will in Art & letters And some their own with things called dollars. Whate'er they ran or wrote or drew The owl was monarch of the crew. With humour bright as Frisco air In speech as dry as Frisco sand, He blithely bade me welcome there And stretched a claw to take my hand Whereat I found acceptance free Among his jovial company. A wanderer from East to West A vagrant under many skies, How shall a roving rhymester best Requite O owl thy courtesies? Accept in lieu of laboured stippling A simple 'Thank you' signed R. Kipling.