Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

“ You see this dog. It was but yesterday

I mused forgetful of his presence here

Till thought on thought drew downward tear on tear,
When from the pillow, where wet-cheeked I lay,
A head as hairy as Faunus, thrust its way

[ocr errors]

Riglit sudden against my face,-two golden clar
Great eyes astonished mine,-

,-a drooping car
Did flap me on either cheek to dry the spray!

I started first, as some Arcadian,
Amazed by goatly god in twilight grove;

But, as the bearded vision closelier ran
My tears off, I knew Flush, and rose above

Surprise and sadness,-thanking the true l'AN,
Who, by low creatures, leads to heights of love."

Burns. In a book bearing the title of the “Sacred Philosophy of the Seasons,' by the Rev. Henry Duncan, is this highly interesting passage concerning the great Scotch poet :

“I well remember with what delight I listened to an interesting conversation, which, while yet a schoolboy, I enjoyed an opportunity of hearing in my father's manse, between the poet Burns and another poet, my near relation, the amiable Blacklock. The subject was the fidelity of the dog. Burns took up the question with all the ardour and kindly feeling with which the conversation of that extraordinary man was so remarkably imbued. It was a subject well suited to call forth his powers, and, when handled by such a man, not less suited to interest the youthful fancy. The anecdotes by which it was illustrated have long escaped my memory, but there was one sentiment expressed by Burns, with his own characteristic enthusiasm, which, as it threw a new light into my mind, I shall never forget. Van,' said lie, “is the god of the dog. He knows no other, he can understand no other; and see how he worships him! with what reverence he crouches at his feet, with what love he fawns upon him, with what dependence he looks up to him, and with what cheerful alacrity he obeys him! His whole soul is wrapt up in his god; all the powers and faculties of his nature are devoted to his service, and these powers and faculties are ennobled by the intercourse. Divines tell us that it ought just to be so with the Christian ; but the dog puts the Christian to shame.'”

“The more we know of this wonderful species, the greater reason shall we find to admire that beneficent Being who gave the dog to man as his companion and friend, and the greater indignation shall we feel against the worse than brutal human beings who abuse the devotion of this most affectionate and docile creature.”—p. 361, vol. 1.

THE TWA DOGS. "The tale of the Twa Dogs," says Gilbert Burns, “was composed after the resolution of publishing was nearly taken. Robert had a dog which he called Luath, that was a great favourite. The dog had been killed by the wanton cruelty of some person the night before my father's death. Robert said to me that he should like to confer such immortality as he could bestow on his old friend Luath, and that he had a great mind to introduce something into the book under the title of • Stanzas to the Memory of a Quadruped Friend, but this plan was given up for the poem as it now stands. Cæsar was merely the creature of the poet's imagination, created for the purpose of holding chat with his favourite Luath."

VOL. 1.

F

THE TWA Dogs: A TALE.

2

“ 'Twas in that place o' Scotland's isle

That bears the name o' Auld King Coil,
Upon a bonnic day in June,
When wearing through the afternoon,
Twa dogs that were na thrang at hame,
Forgathered ance upon a time.
The first I'll name, they ca'd him Cæsar,
Was keepit for his honour's pleasure :
His hair, his size, his mouth, his lugs,
Showed he was nane o' Scotland's dogs,
But whalpit some place far abroad,
Where sailors gang to fish for cod.
His locked, lettered, braw brass collar,
Showed him the gentleman and scholar;
But though he was o' higli degree,
The fient a pride-nae pride had he;
But wad hae spent an hour caressin',
E’en wi' a tinkler-gipsy's messan.
At kirk or market, mill or smiddie,
Nae tawted tyke, though c'er sae duddie,3
But he wad stan't, as glad to see him,
And stroan't on stanes and hillocks wi' him.

1

The tither was a ploughman's collie,
A rhyming, ranting, roving billie,
Wha for his friend and comrade had him,
And in his freaks had Luath ca'd him,
After some dog in Highland sang,
Was made lang syne-Lord knows how lang!
He was a gash and faithfu' tyke,
As ever lap a sheugh or dike.4
His honest, sonsie, baws'nt face,
Aye gat him friends in ilkaplace.

1 Encountered.

2 Ears. 4 Ditch.

3 Dirty ; ragged. 5 Each.

« PreviousContinue »