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Remarks To My Grown-up Pup

By rules of fitness and of tense,
By all old canine precedents,
Oh, Adult Dog, the time is up
When I may fondly call you Pup.
The years have sped since first you stood
In straddle-legged puppyhood,--
A watch-pup, proud of your renown,
Who barked so hard you tumbled down.
In Age's gain and Youth's retreat
You've found more team-work for your feet,
You drool a soupcon less, and hark!
There's fuller meaning to your bark.
But answer fairly, whilom pup,
Are these full proof of growing up?

I heard an elephantine tread
That jarred the rafters overhead:
Who leaped in mad abandon there
And tossed my slippers in the air?
Who, sitting gravely on the rug,
Espied a microscopic bug
And stalked it, gaining bit by bit,--
Then leapt in air and fell on it?
Who gallops madly down the breeze
Pursuing specks that no one sees,
Then finds some ancient boot instead
And worries it till it is dead?
I have no adult friends who choose
To gnaw the shoe-strings from my shoes,--
Who eat up twine and paper scraps
And bark while they are taking naps.
Oh Dog, you offer every proof
That stately age yet holds aloof.
Grown up? There's meaning in the phrase
Of dignity as well as days.
Oh why such size, beloved pup?--
You've grown enough, but not grown up.

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