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ENCASED in mud, and breathing valley steam,
And teased all day by clouds of stinging flies,
That smother round his flanks and mouth and eyes,
Provoking rage, till an unlidded gleam
Darts from each eye across the sombre stream,
And his great bulk is shaken, to surprise
And scare away the pestering hosts, that rise
Black in the air about him ; parrots scream
Above him in the tangled overgrowth,
And monkeys chatter, and the green snake glides
From branch to branch with supple weaving thews,
But he, though irked by noise and stir, is loth
To leave the wallowing-pool that coats his sides,
And back and belly with protective ooze.

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