Page images
PDF
EPUB

TO FLUSH, MY DOG.

Loving friend, the gift of one
Who her own true faith has run,

Through thy lower nature,*
Be my benediction said
With my hand upon thy head,

Gentle fellow-creature!

Like a lady's ringlets brown,
Flow thy silken ears adown

Either side demurely
Of thy silver-suited breast,
Shining out from all the rest

Of thy body purely.

III.
Darkly brown thy body is,
Till the sunshine striking this

Alchemise its dulness,
When the sleek curls manifold
Flash all over into gold,

With a burnished fulness.

* This dog was the gift of my dear and admired friend, Miss Mitford, and belongs to the beautiful race she has rendered celebrated among English and American readers. The Flushes bave their laurels as well as the Cæsars,--the chief difference (at least the very head and front of it) consisting, perhups, in the bald head of the latter under the crown. 1844.

IV.

Underneath my stroking hand,
Startled eyes of hazel bland

Kindling, growing larger,
Up thou leapest with a spring,
Full of prank and curveting,

Leaping like a charger.

Leap! thy broad tail waves a light, Leap! thy slender feet are bright,

Canopied in fringes. Leap—those tasselled ears of thine Flicker strangely, fair and fine,

Down their golden inches.

VI.
Yet, my pretty, sportive friend,
Little is 't to such an end

That I praise thy rareness !
Other dogs may be thy peers
Haply in these drooping ears,

And this glossy fairness.

VII.

But of thee it shall be said,
This dog watched beside a bed

Day and night unweary, -Watched within a curtained room, Where no sunbeam brake the gloom

Round the sick and dreary.

VIII.

Roses gathered for a vase,
In that chamber died apace,

Beam and breeze resigning.
This dog only, waited on,
Knowing that when light is gone

Love remains for shining.

18.

Other dogs in thymy dew
Tracked the hares and followed through

Sunny moor or meadow.
This dog only, crept and crept
Next a languid cheek that slept,

Sharing in the shadow.

Other dogs of loyal cheer
Bounded at the whistle clear,

Up the woodside hieing.
This dog only, watched in reach
Of a faintly uttered speech,

Or a louder sighing.

XI.

And if one or two quick tears
Dropped upon his glossy ears,

Or a sigh came double,-
Up he sprang in eager haste,
Fawning, fondling, breathing fast,

In a tender trouble.

XII.

And this dog was satisfied
If a pale thin hand would glide

Down his dewlaps sloping, Which he pushed his nose within, After, platforming his chin

On the palm left open.

XIII.
This dog, if a friendly voice
Call him now to blyther choice

Than such chamber-keeping, Come out!' praying from the door, Presseth backward as before,

Up against me leaping.

XIV.

Therefore to this dog will I,
Tenderly not scornfully,

Render praise and favour:
With my hand upon his head,
Is my benediction said

Therefore, and forever.

XV.

And because he loves me so,
Better than his kind will do

Often, man or woman,
Give I back more love again
Than dogs often take of men,

Leaning from my Human.

XVI.

Blessings on thee, dog of mine,
Pretty collars make thee fine,

Sugared milk make fat thee!
Pleasures wag on in thy tail,
Hands of gentle motion fail

Nevermore, to pat thee!

XVII.
Downy pillow take thy head,
Silken coverlid bestead,

Sunshine help thy sleeping !
No fly's buzzing wake thee up,
No man break thy purple cup,

Set for drinking deep in.

XVIII.

Whiskered cats arointed flee,
Sturdy stoppers keep from thee

Cologne distillations;
Nuts lie in thy path for stones,
And thy feast-day macaroons

Turn to daily rations!

XIX.
Mock I thee, in wishing weal —
Tears are in my eyes to feel

Thou art made so straightly, Blessing needs must straighten too, Little canst thou joy or do,

Thou who lovest greatly.

« PreviousContinue »