On a spaniel, called Beau


One of our staff brought their springer spaniel into work this morning. I really like springers,they have a lovely charming guilessness, always looking to you with their big brown eyes for reassurance, and they seem so eager to join in and help out. Another reason why I like spaniels so much is because of a poem my father showed me long ago. Whilst growing up around hunting pursuits all my life, I have never really enjoyed it as a pastime myself, because of the death required to make the sport, and I think this poem has some resonance with that.
It's a second rate Cowper ditty, but I have always found it very charming

ON A SPANIEL, CALLED BEAU, KILLING A YOUNG BIRD. 1793

A spaniel, Beau, that fares like you,
Well fed, and at his ease.
Should wiser be than to pursue
Each trifle that he sees.

But you have kill'd a tiny bird,
Which flew not till to-day,
Against my orders, whom you heard
Forbidding you the prey.

Nor did you kill that you might eat
And ease a doggish pain.
For him, though chased with furious heat,
You left where he was slain.

Nor was he of the thievish sort.
Or one whom blood allures,
But innocent was all his sport
Whom you have torn for yours.

My dog! what remedy remains.
Since, teach you all I can,
I see you, after all my pains
So much resemble Man.




3 comments:

Gaw said...

Lovely dog. I really like cockers too. Might get one in a year or two (once little 'un is out of nappies).

worm said...

yes cockers are considerably more city friendly than springers! very gentle little chaps. I especially like the small black ones with the big feet!

Gadjo Dilo said...

Yep, I'm a spaniel fan too (cat lover, mainly, but if I got a dog it'd be a cocker spaniel). Interestingly 20th Century sentiments from Cowper, but then he always was a thoughtful, sensitive chap.