Poetry of Kansas

The Collarless Dog.

IN the mire and the slush, in the grovelling rush
Of the dirtiest street in the city,
A miserable waif, uncared for, unsafe,
Unknown to protection or pity,
I am seeking for bread, to get beatings instead
Or morsels unfit for a hog___
I am leading a life of contemptible strife,
For I'm only a collarless dog.
I skulk, and I hide on the opposite side
Of the street, and I shiver and start
When I see in the distance that bane of existence,
The merciless dog-catcher's cart.
No shelter, no home, and I ceaselessly roam,
The street gamins kick me and flog,
No pity they know for a being so low
As a miserable collarless dog.
Philanthropists, hark to my pitiful bark
As you daintily trip on your way;
Do you think you'll discover, the city all over,
A being more wretched to-day ?
They only throw stones ! as if skin covered bones
Had feelings no more than a log;
And little I care, I am used to hard fare
For I'm only a collarless dog.
Full well do I know that I some day shall go
By the route that my brothers have passed;
For the dog-catcher's cart, and his merciless art
Will win in the struggle at last.
Then, away to the pound, no more to be found
In humanity's bustle and clog,
And a plunge in the river will wind up forever
The woes of a collarless dog.

__Albert Bigelow Paine.

Rhymes by Two Friends
Albert Bigelow Paine & William Allen White
(Fort Scott: M. L. Izor and Son. 1893)
Pages 76-77
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October 25, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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