To a Lady with an Unruly and Ill-mannered Dog Who Bit several Persons of Importance

Original Text: 
Laughter from a Cloud, foreword by Hilary Raleigh (London: Constable, 1923): 203-04. British Library 012273.bbb.7
1Your dog is not a dog of grace;
2He does not wag the tail or beg;
3He bit Miss Dickson in the face;
5What tragic choices such a dog
6Presents to visitor or friend!
7Outside there is the Glasgow fog;
9Yet some relief even terror brings,
10For when our life is cold and gray
11We waste our strength on little things,
12And fret our puny souls away.
13A snarl! A scruffle round the room!
14A sense that Death is drawing near!
15And human creatures reassume
16The elemental robe of fear.
17So when my colleague makes his moan
18Of careless cooks, and warts, and debt,
19-- Enlarge his views, restore his tone,
20And introduce him to your Pet!
Quod Raleigh.


4] Bailie: Scottish town magistrate. Back to Line
8] hydrophobic: water-fearing or -averse, symptomic of rabies. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2001