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,

u 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.