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Hamish A Scotch Terrier

Little lad, little lad, and who's for an airing,
Who's for the river and who's for a run;
Four little pads to go fitfully faring,
Looking for trouble and calling it fun?
Down in the sedges the water-rats revel,
Up in the wood there are bunnies at play
With a weather-eye wide for a Little Black Devil:
But the Little Black Devil won't come to-day.

To-day at the farm the ducks may slumber,
To-day may the tabbies an anthem raise;
Rat and rabbit beyond all number
To-day untroubled may go their ways:
To-day is an end of the shepherd's labour,
No more will the sheep be hunted astray;
And the Irish terrier, foe and neighbour,
Says, "What's old Hamish about to-day?"

Ay, what indeed? In the nether spaces
Will the soul of a Little Black Dog despair?
Will the Quiet Folk scare him with shadow-faces?
And how will he tackle the Strange Beasts there?
Tail held high, I'll warrant, and bristling,
Marching stoutly if sore afraid,
Padding it steadily, softly whistling;--
That's how the Little Black Devil was made.

Then well-a-day for a "cantie callant,"
A heart of gold and a soul of glee,--
Sportsman, gentleman, squire and gallant,--
Teacher, maybe, of you and me.
Spread the turf on him light and level,
Grave him a headstone clear and true--
"Here lies Hamish, the Little Black Devil,
And half of the heart of his mistress too."

Previous: Dodo

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