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The Dog and His Master
by
Anne Kingsmill Finch


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No better Dog e'er kept his Master's Door
Than honest Snarl, who spar'd nor Rich nor Poor;
But gave the Alarm, when any one drew nigh,
Nor let pretended Friends pass fearless by:
For which reprov'd, as better Fed than Taught,
He rightly thus expostulates the Fault.

To keep the House from Rascals was my Charge;
The Task was great, and the Commission large.
Nor did your Worship e'er declare your Mind,
That to the begging Crew it was confin'd;
Who shrink an Arm, or prop an able Knee,
Or turn up Eyes, till they're not seen, nor see.
To Thieves, who know the Penalty of Stealth,
And fairly stake their Necks against your Wealth,
These are the known Delinquents of the Times,
And Whips and Tyburn. testify their Crimes.

But since to Me there was by Nature lent
An exquisite Discerning by the Scent;
I trace a Flatt'rer, when he fawns and leers,
A rallying Wit, when he commends and jeers:
The greedy Parasite I grudging note,
Who praises the good Bits, that oil his Throat;
I mark the Lady, you so fondly toast,
That plays your Gold, when all her own is lost:
The Knave, who fences your Estate by Law,
Yet still reserves an undermining Flaw.
These and a thousand more, which I cou'd tell,
Provoke my Growling, and offend my Smell.

This poem is in the public domain.

 

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Anne Kingsmill Finch (1661 - 1720) was one of England's earliest published female poets. Born into a privileged family and educated accordingly, she was given a position as the maid of honor for the duchess of York, then found herself a countess when her husband inherited both property and title. As the Countess of Winchilsea, Anne indulged her love for poetry, though she was careful with whom she shared her creations, since poetry was considered an improper pursuit for women in those days. As a result, Anne's reputation did not flourish until after her death. Today, many consider her one of the most accomplished English female poets prior to the 19th century. Anne's poems are witty, fun, and full of insights into both the intimate details and social conventions of life in her time.

 


Post New Comment:
Larry Schug:
Rarf! Rarf! Rarf! Reminds me of good ol' Mojo. May he rest in excitement.
Posted 09/09/2014 12:57 PM
Katrina:
How grateful a hound for the sense of smell. I love the way he expresses 'An exquisite Discerning by the Scent'.
Posted 09/09/2014 09:35 AM
Ted:
Doggone good - It makes my day! Would that doggerel might reach this height. Ted
Posted 09/09/2014 09:03 AM
Dorcas:
Delightful. Would that I had such sensitivities to household and pets.
Posted 09/09/2014 08:24 AM
Sherry:
I love it! Good for Anne.
Posted 09/09/2014 08:21 AM


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