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The Council of Dogs   By: (1753-1831)

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[Illustration: The Council. ]






H. Bryer, Printer, Bridge Street, Blackfriars.


Why a COUNCIL of DOGS was convened on the Plain, The PRESIDENT SHEEP DOG thus rose to explain. "This meeting I call, to complain of misusage From the poets, who now a days have a strange usage Of leading up Insects and Birds to Parnassus, While, without rhyme or reason, unnotic'd they pass us. Declare then those talents by which we may claim Some pretensions, I hope, to poetical fame. I boast of whole legions, my voice who obey; Without me the Sheep, e'en the Shepherd, might stray But no more of myself Let each Dog of spirit Stand forward and modestly state his own merit. But I charge you be gentle, let's hear of no growling, No grinning, no snarling, no snapping, no howling." The GREYHOUND first rose, with a spring from his seat, Scarcely bending the grass, that grew under his feet; His figure was airy, and placid his mien; Yet to flash in his eye indignation was seen. "Brave companions," said he, "shall we noble beasts Hear of Butterflies Balls and Grasshoppers Feasts ? Hear dinned in our ears, wherever we roam, The Mask seeing Lion and Peacock at Home ? Shall we hear all this, nor assert the fair fame That for ages long past has distinguished our name? Forbid it ye Dogs! here behold me stand forth, To proclaim to the world my deserts, and my worth! Keen and swift in the chace, I can boldly declare From my speed, as I follow, in vain flies the Hare; Nay, while like the wind, I bound over the course My master comes lagging behind on his Horse. 'Twixt friends, I could laugh, at beholding the fuss And boasting men make of success due to us; The truth is so obvious 'tis scarce worth enforcing; Without our assistance they could not go coursing."

[Illustration: " Then the hound & the Grey hound both flew at the poodle "]

"All you say," quoth the HARRIER, "dear coz, is most true, Yet I think it but just, to give each Dog his due; So don't be offended if I dare disclose That you are not gifted, like me, with a nose." When the POODLE heard this, he laugh'd out aloud, And all the Curs grinned, who were mixed in the crowd: Then the Hound and the Grey hound both flew at the Poodle And called him a curl coated Cur, and a noodle Poor Poodle was frighten'd at what he had done, But being himself much addicted to fun, And having no notion of running by scent, He could not conceive the Hound seriously meant To say, that the Grey hound had no nose at all, When he'd one twice as long as his own, tho' 'twas small. "Come have done with your jaw," said the FOX HOUND in spleen, "For how should a foreigner know what you mean? May hap he can dance, and I'm sure he can beg; Let him run me a race, and I'll tye up a leg; But in hunting, in truth, the HARRIER and BEAGLE, No more equal us, than the Hawk does the Eagle; Trotting after a Hare is mere childish play, It may now and then serve, to kill a dull day. But we , at sun rise, seek the Fox in the cover, Drive him often before us, ten counties half over; Sweep wild o'er the hill, or close at his brush Unchecked thro' the gorse, and the river we rush, And Phoebus once more must sink down to his nest, E'er we slacken our chace, or betake us to rest; So tempting our sport, Men think it atones For the maiming of limbs and the breaking of bones." Said the STAG HOUND "All rivalships here I disclaim, Since for strength, and for speed, so well known is my fame, That I justly am reckon'd the first amongst hounds: Yet our chace like the FOX HOUNDS, with danger abounds, Nay, is sometimes attended with fatal effects, As in hunting of Stags, men have broken their necks... Continue reading book >>

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