The Sheep adorns the landscape rural
And is both singular and plural-
It gives grammarians the creeps
To hear one say, “A flock of sheeps.”

The Sheep is gentle, meek and mild,
And led in herds by man or child-
Being less savage than the rabbit,
Sheep are gregarious by habit.

The Sheep grows wool and thus promotes
The making of vests, pants and coats-
Vests, pants and coats and woolen cloths
Provide good food for hungry moths.

With vegetables added to
The Sheep, we get our mutton stew-
Experiments long since revealed
The Sheep should first be killed and peeled.

Thus, with our debt to them so deep,
All men should cry “Praise be for Sheep!”-
And, if we happen to be shepherds,
“Praise be they’re not as fierce as leopards!”

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ellis Parker Butler's poem The Sheep

1 Comment

  1. John Soderberg says:

    I had been looking for this poem for YEARS, recallng only the first stanza. So clever — I’m glad to find it at american poems website –just added in last October! Thanks….

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