Walter Garstang

The Oncosphere or Hexacanth was not designed for frolic

His part may be described perhaps as coldly diabolic:

He’s born amid some gruesome things, but this should count for virtue,

That steadily, ‘gainst fearful odds, he plies his task to hurt you!

He’s very small, a mere pin’s head, beset with six small hooklets,

Is whirled about by wind and rain through puddles, field and brooklets;

But if a pig should swallow him, as many porkers do,

He’s made a start with no mistake: He’s on the road to you!

Again I say, don’t blame the brat—he hasn’t any head!

It isn’t any fault of his—he wasn’t painted red!

But once inside, he burrows through, and gropes his way about,

Then swells and sprouts a head at last, though his is inside out!

He’s now a cysticercus in the muscle of a pig,

With just a sporting chance of getting out to grow up big.

If you’ll consent to eat your pork half-raw or underdone,

His troubles will be over, and a Tapeworm will have won

He’ll cast his anchors out, and on your best digested food

Will thrive, and bud an endless chain to raise a countless brood.