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."





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