Poem By Thomas Sharp
They call him mongrel, they who see
Only his lack of pedigree,
But I in that loved form and face
Real nobility can trace
That tilt of head, that lissom port
Bespeak true breed of nature's sort,
Though half a terrier he's a whole
Comrade, an integer in soul.
When he through promptings of the sense
Sins, how profound his penitence,
Told by the code of tail and eye!
His growl that makes the dustman shy
Is good to hear, though I confess
It sadly shows his snobbishness;
And good at night the explosive bark
That scatters all the powers of dark.
Who would have guessed that such a storm
Could issue from so small a form?
But his true quality is shown
Most when we foot the fields alone;
If I should wander from the track
He will not fail to bring me back
And will (scarcely modestly) insist:
'This is the trail you might have missed.'
Did ever being love the earth
As vitally as he? 'Tis worth
The price of many a Pekinese
Or pet pug with asthmatic wheeze
Only to see him swiftly pass
Sniffing and snorting through the grass,
Or lying in the meadow there
Ecstatic, waving paws in air.
When he goes silent, nose to ground,
I doubt if naturalist e'er found
A tithe of all the wonders that
Are seen and scented there by Pat.
I wonder if a memory
Stirs in him of the day when he
Quietly sat a sermon through?
(A Presbyterian sermon too!)
Through the church doors he won his way
And pattered up the aisle- to stay.
Just as the text was given out
My hand was touched by a cold snout
And a warm tongue; my dog was then
A pattern for all Christian men-
Though many a curious head was turned
Toward him he was unconcerned,
A true and humble worshipper;
He through the sermon did not stir
But, prostrate at his master's feet,
Forgetting lure of field and street,
He lay, too glad to doze or nod,
Rapt in the prescence of his god.