Great big lolloping lovable things!
Rolling and tumbling on every lawn,
Tearing at slippers and bones and wings-
Wonderful loot from the ash-heap drawn:
Dipping your ears in the dews of dawn!
Lapping your porridge at farm-house doors,
Cracking a biscuit, robbing a nest
Printing your tracks upon kitchen floors,
Dodging a broom when the cooks protest;
Cursed for a moment and then caressed!
Wandering out where the spaniels walk,
Following slow when the guns go by,
Streaking for home when the twelve-bores talk,
Clumsy and puzzled and suddenly shy;
Lone and unwanted and wondering why!
Never mind puppies, your day will come;
By distant coverts your kingdoms wait,
When the spaniels doze and the guns are dumb
And hoofs are loud by the bridle gate;
Yet scarcely puppies,
Raised as you are to a hound’s estate.
Lost will your lolloping ways be then,
Your timid glance and your shrinking pose,
As you shoulder the gorse in glade and glen,
Lifting the line that your tongues disclose;
No longer puppies,
But trusted names that the huntsman knows!
William Henry Ogilvie