Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

XVII.

INCIDENT

CHARACTERISTIC OF A FAVOURITE DOG.

On his morning rounds the Master
Goes to learn how all things fare ;
Searches pasture after pasture,
Sheep and cattle eyes with care ;
And, for silence or for talk,
He hath comrades in his walk ;
Four dogs, each pair of different breed,
Distinguished two for scent, and two for speed.

See a hare before him started !
-Off they fly in earnest chase;
Every dog is eager-hearted,
All the four are in the race :
And the hare whom they pursue,
Knows from instinct what to do ;
Her hope is near : no turn she makes ;
But, like an arrow, to the river takes.

Deep the river was, and crusted
Thinly by a one night's frost;
But the nimble Hare hath trusted
To the ice, and safely crost;
She hath crost, and without heed
All are following at full speed,
When, lo! the ice, so thinly spread,
Breaks—and the greyhound, Dart, is over-head!

Better fate have PRINCE and SWALLOW-
See them cleaving to the sport !
Music has no heart to follow,
Little MUSIC, she stops short.
She hath neither wish nor heart,
Hers is now another part:
A loving creature she, and brave !
And fondly strives her struggling friend to save.

say!

From the brink her paws she stretches,
Very hands as you

would
And afflicting moans she fetches,
As he breaks the ice away.
For herself she hath no fears,-
Him alone she sees and hears,—
Makes efforts with complainings; nor gives o'er
Until her fellow sinks to re-appear no more.

XVIII.

TRIBUTE

TO THE MEMORY OF THE SAME DOG.

LIE here, without a record of thy worth,
Beneath a covering of the common earth!
It is not from unwillingness to praise,
Or want of love, that here no Stone we raise ;
More thou deserv'st; but this man gives to man,
Brother to brother, this is all we can.
Yet they to whom thy virtues made thee dear
Shall find thee through all changes of the year :
This Oak points out thy grave; the silent tree
Will gladly stand a monument of thee.

We grieved for thee, and wished thy end were past; And willingly have laid thee here at last : For thou hadst lived till every thing that cheers In thee had yielded to the weight of years; Extreme old age had wasted thee away, And left thee but a glimmering of the day;

Thy ears were deaf, and feeble were thy knees,-
I saw thee stagger in the summer breeze,
Too weak to stand against its sportive breath,
And ready for the gentlest stroke of death.
It

came, and we were glad ; yet tears were shed;
Both man and woman wept when thou wert dead ;
Not only for a thousand thoughts that were,
Old household thoughts, in which thou hadst thy share;
But for some precious boons vouchsafed to thee,
Found scarcely any where in like degree !
For love, that comes wherever life and sense
Are given by God, in thee was most intense ;
A chain of heart, a feeling of the mind,
A tender sympathy, which did thee bind
Not only to us Men, but to thy Kind :
Yea, for thy fellow-brutes in thee we saw
A soul of love, love's intellectual law :-
Hence, if we wept, it was not done in shame;
Our tears from passion and from reason came,
And, therefore, shalt thou be an honoured name !

1805.

XIX.

FIDELITY.

A BARKING sound the Shepherd hears,
A cry as of a dog or fox;
He halts—and searches with his eyes
Among the scattered rocks :
And now at distance can discern
A stirring in a brake of fern;
And instantly a dog is seen,
Glancing through that covert green.

The Dog is not of mountain breed;
Its motions, too, are wild and shy;
With something, as the Shepherd thinks,
Unusual in its cry :
Nor is there any one in sight
All round, in hollow or on height;
Nor shout, nor whistle strikes his ear;
What is the creature doing here?

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »