The Irish Greyhound – A Dedication Poem


Behold this creature's form and state;
Which nature therefore did create,
That to the world might be exprest
What mien there can be in a beast;

And that we in this shape may find
A lion of another kind.
For this heroic beast does seem
In majesty to rival him,

And yet vouchsafes to man to show
Both service and submission, too.
From whence we this distinction have,
That beast is fierce, but this is brave.

This dog hath so himself subdued
That hunger cannot make him rude,
And his behavior does confess
True courage dwells with gentleness.

With sternest wolves he dares engage,
And acts on them successful rage.
Yet too much courtesy may chance
To put him out of countenance.

When in his opposer's blood
Fortune hath made his virtue good,
This creature from an act so brave
Grows not more sullen, but more brave.

Man's guard he would be, not his sport,
Believing he hath ventured for't;
But yet no blood, or shed or spent,
Can ever make him insolent.

Few men of him to do great things have learned,
And when they're done to be so unconcerned.

Katherine Phillips.
As published in "The Dog's Book of Verse" Collected by J. Earl Clauson
A Public Domain Work.

Google Search