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Rhapsody On A Dog's Intelligence

Dear dog, that seems to stand and gravely brood
Upon the broad veranda of our home
With soulful eyes that gaze into the gloam--
With speaking tail that registers thy mood,--
Men say thou hast no ratiocination;
Methinks there is a clever imitation.

Men say again thy kindred have no souls,
And sin is but an attribute of men;
Say, is it chance alone that bids thee,then,
Choose only garden spots for digging holes?
Why dost thou filch some fragment of the cooking
At times when no one seemeth to be looking?

Was there an early Adam of thy race,
And brindled Eve, the mother of thy house,
Who shared some purloined chicken with her spouse,
Thus causing all thy tribe to fall from grace?
If fleas dwelt in the garden of that Adam
Perhaps thy sinless parents never had 'em.

This morn thou cam'st a-slinking through the door,
Avoiding eyes, and some dark corner sought,
And though no accusation filled our thought,
Thy tail, apologetic, thumped the floor.
Who claims thou hast no conscience, argues vainly,
For I have seen its symptoms very plainly.

What leads thee to forsake thy board and bed
On days that are devoted to thy bath?
For if it is not reason yet it hath
Appearance of desire to plan ahead!
The sage who claims thy brain and soul be wizen
Would do quite well to swap thy head for his'n.

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Previous: To A Terrier

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