PART I PUPPYHOOD "What other nature yours than of a childWhose dumbness finds a voice mighty to call,In wordless pity, to the souls of all,Whose lives I turn to profit, and whose muteAnd constant friendship links the man and brute?" THE DOG'S BOOK OF VERSE
WE MEET AT MORN Still half in dream, upon the stair I hearA patter coming nearer and more near,And then upon my chamber doorA gentle tapping,For dogs, though proud, are poor,And if a tail will do to give commandWhy use a hand?And after that a cry, half sneeze, half yapping,And next a scuffle on the passage floor,And then I know the creature lies to watchUntil the noiseless maid will lift the latch.And like a springThat gains its power by being tightly stayed,The impatient thingInto the roomIts whole glad heart doth fling,And ere the gloomMelts into light, and window blinds are rolled,I hear a bounce upon the bed,I feel a creeping toward me—a soft head,And on my faceA tender nose, and cold—This is the way, you know, that dogs embrace—And on my hand, like sun-warmed rose-leaves flung,The least faint flicker of the warmest tongue—And so my dog and I have met and swornFresh love and fealty for another morn.
Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley.
THE LOST PUPPY Say! little pup,What's up?Your tail is downAnd out of sightBetween your legs;Why, that ain't right.Little pup,Brace up! Say! little pup,Look up!Don't hang your headAnd look so sad,You're all mussed up,But you ain't mad.Little pup,Cheer up! Say! little pup,Stir up!Is that a stringAround your tail?And was it fastTo a tin pail?Little pup,Git up. Say! little pup,Talk up.Were those bad boysAll after you,With sticks and stones,And tin cans, too?Little pup,Speak up! Say! little pup,Stand up!Let's look at you;You'd be all rightIf you was scrubbedAnd shined up bright.Little pup,Jump up! Say! little pup,Bark up!Let's hear your voice.Say, you're a brick!Now try to begAnd do a trick.Little pup,Sit up! Say! little pup,Chime up!Why, you can sing—Now come with me;Let's wash and eatAnd then we'll see,Little pup,What's up!
Henry Firth Wood.
A LAUGH IN CHURCH She sat on the sliding cushion,The dear, wee woman of four;Her feet, in their shiny slippers,Hung dangling over the floor.She meant to be good; she had promised,And so with her big, brown eyes,She stared at the meetinghouse windowsAnd counted the crawling flies. She looked far up at the preacher,But she thought of the honeybeesDroning away at the blossomsThat whitened the cherry trees.She thought of a broken basket,Where curled in a dusky heap,Four sleek, round puppies, with fringy ears.Lay snuggled and fast asleep. Such soft, warm bodies to cuddle,Such queer little hearts to beat,Such swift round tongues to kiss,Such sprawling, cushiony feet;She could feel in her clasping fingersThe touch of the satiny skin,And a cold, wet nose exploringThe dimples under her chin....