A water buffalo or not, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the public mind to suffer
The hoofs and horns of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of bison,
And by opposing kill them? To die, extinct,
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The thunder, and the thousand natural herds
The land was heir to: ’tis a consumption
Devoutly to be wished. To die, extinct;
Extinct, now just a dream – ay, there’s the rub:
For in that sleep of death what buffalo may come?
When they have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Ought give us pause – we ought respect
For what makes an ecosystem but largest life?
And who would bear the cries and end of life,
The oppresseds’ wrong, our proud human hunger,
The pangs of despised creatures, the law’s delay,
The insolence of offices, that spurn greatest need.
The patients’ merit, often unworthy aches,
When we ourselves might their quietus shake
For a few dollars? Who would our burdens bear?
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But those buffalo under dread of death,
From whose undiscovered country
No lima bean returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather keeps those beasts we have
Than resort to others that we know not of
Thus conscience ought make cowards of us all,
And let the native hosts of bubalis
Be scattered o’er with golden gleam of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard our murder turn awry,
And halt in the name of action.
Soft you now, Syncerus caffer! Bovine, in thy orisons
Be all our sins remembered!