Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

His breast was white, his touziel back
Weel clad wi' coat o' glossy black;
His gaucie? tail, wi' upward curl,
Hung o'er his hurdies 3 wi’ a swirl.
Nae doubt but they were fnin o'ither,
And unco pack 5 and thick thegither;
Wi' social nose whyles snuff’d and snowkit,
Whyles mice and moudieworts they howkit ;6
Whyles scoured awa' in lang excursion,
An' worried ither in diversion;
Until wi' daffin'? weary grown,
Upon a knowe 8 they sat them down,
And there began a lang digression
About the lords o' the creation."

[ocr errors]

After reviewing and criticising some of the faults and follies of human society, the poem concludes -

“By this, the sun was out o'sight,

And darker gloaming brought the night:
The bum-clock' hummed wi’ lazy drone ;
The kye stood rowtin' i' the loan;
When up they gat, and shook their lugs,
Rejoiced they were na men, but dogs;
And each took aff his several way,
Resolved to meet some ither day.”

1786,

[ocr errors]

“Burns," says A. Cunningham, "had a favourite collie at Ellisland, with this legend on its collar: “Robert Burns, Poet.' His last dog, a fine burly fellow, which survived him sometime, was named Thurlow, which I suppose the poet had bestowed on him in compliment to the rough, manly character of the Chancellor. You remember Thurlow's famous reply to the Duke of Grafton, in which he challenged comparison with the noble Duke as A MAN. This could not fail to take a strong hold of the feelings of Burns.”R. Carruthers' MS.

i Shaggy.

6 Dug.

2 Jolly.
3 Hips.

4 Fond.

8 Hillock. ? Sporting.

5 Intimate. 9 Beetle.

Burns was very fond of animals, and he showed it in The Farmer's Address to his Mare,' his Lines on a Wounded Hare,' • The Winter's Night,' and other pieces. He also, at a lady's importunity, wrote an epitaph on a lapdog, but it has slight merit.

Blaclilock, mentioned above, composed a better inscription of the kind, and also an ode.

EPITAPH

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Undisguis’d, each reigning passion,

When thou mov'st or look'st we see:
Were the same with us the fashion,

Happy mortals would we be !

May her favour still pursue thee,

Who propos'd thee for my theme;
Till superior charms subdue thee,

And inspire a nobler flame.

In each other bless'd and blessing,

Years of pleasure let them live;
Each all active worth possessing,

Earth admires or heav'n can give.”

Roscommon

was also happy on another of the fondlings of the fair.

ON THE DEATH OF A Lady's Dog.

Thou, happy creature, art secure
From all the torments we endure;
Despair, ambition, jealousy,
Lost friends, nor love, disquiet thee;
A sullen prudence drew thee hence
From noise, fraud, and impertinence.
Though Life essay'd the surest wile,
Gilding itself with Laura's smile;
How didst thou scorn Life's meaner charms,
Thou who could'st break from Laura's arms !
Poor Cynic! still methinks I hear
Thy awful murmurs in my ear ;
As when on Laura's lap you lay,
Chiding the worthless crowd away.
How fondly human passions turn! .
What we then envied, now we mourn !”

Fréville, a French writer on the canine race, has given the next pretty lines on his pets.

ÉPÎTRE À LIRON ET LIRETTE.

Liron, Lirette, Petits toutous Plus gents que tous, Par amusette J'adresse à vous Ce loisir doux De ma musette. Toujours seulette, Simple, discrette, Mais en courroux Contre nos fous, Et des filoux, Race funeste, Par qui des sous Nul ne nous reste, Pas même un zeste ; Maudite peste, Pis que les loups Les plus garoux !

Avec simplesse :
Nulle souplesse,
Nul tour d'adresse,
Ne font de vous des preus ;
Eh! qu'importent ces jeux,
Et ces sauts périlleux ?
Ce qui vaut mieux,

Avec liesse,
Pleins de tendresse,
Vous chérissez maitresse
Plus que mille, à vous deur.
Ce qu'encor puis écrire,
C'est qu'à sages fameux
Dans les arts merveilleux
Dont Minerve a l'empire,
Aux amis de Montreuil,
Hélas ! toujours en deuil,
Et pleurant au cercueil
De sa jeune Thémire!
A Lalande, à Lemire,
Vous faites tant d'accueil,
Que c'est presque un délire.
Ne mordant nullement;
Montrant mine doucette;
Donnant très-poliment,
Patte svelte et blanchette;
Badinant bellement ;
Caressant gentiment;
A chacun faisant fête,
De façon joliette :

Petits louloux, Petits bijoux, Je vous l'atteste, Ceux qui liront Rime follette, Sur vous, Liron, Sur vous, Lirette, Point pour bluette, Point pour sornette, Ne la prendront. Bien ils diront

Dans ces jours de tempête,
Sinon visière nette,
Sinon contentement,
Au moins, d'une âme droite
Le noble épanchement :
Désintéressement;
La conscience nette;
Un peu d'entendement;
Humeur à la franquette ;
Appétit dévorant;
Haine à plus d'un tyran ;
Et puis encor

la tête !

L’un, l'autre vous aimant
Plus fraternellement,
Que Tata, ni Grisette,
Un peu flatteusement
Chantés par Antoinette ;
Gardant fidèlement
Paisible maisonnette,
Où l'on voit constamment
Bon cæur, hôtesse honnête :
Quel chien est plus charmant ?
Quel natural de bête ?
0 Liron! Ô Lirette !
Je vous devois vraiment
Dans mon enchantement,
Outre mainte gimblette,
Ces petits vers en ette,
Sortis, tout bonnement,
De mon chef, sur l'herbette :
De moi, chétif Poëte,
Qui, sans bisque indigent,
Qui, sans maille d'argent
Pour la plus mince emplette,
(Grace au gouvernement,
Raflant fonds et recette),
Conserve, heureusement,

Enfin, Liron, Lirette,
Sans plus de compliment,
Pour finir rondement,
Cette épître longuette,
Et rendre plus complette,
Ma nouvelle cueillette,
Sur Ouillon, sur Ouillette,
Sans-peur et Turlurette, ?
Regagnant ma retraite,
Je vous dirai gaiement :
Adieu Liron, Lirette."

A. F. J. FRÉVILLE. 1796.

Hamilton, born in 1704, and who fought for the Pretender, wrote the following:

ON A DOG.

“Calm though not mean, courageous without rage,

Serious not dull, and without thinking sage;
Pleas'd at the lot that Nature has assign'd,
Snarl as I list, and freely bark my mind;

i Old coin worth less than a farthing.

? Names of four dogs.

« PreviousContinue »