Recently in Animals Category

The Perfumed Pup by C.J. Dennis

| No TrackBacks
"The Daily Sketch says that the latest from Paris are pet-dog perfumes.  Already there are a dozen different kinds, made up in tiny phials.  The cost works out at 7/6 a drop."

I have a dog -- a real he-hound
   And when I read him this sad stuff,
He rolled a large, brown eye around
   And savagely commented "Whuff!"

I gathered, from his curling lip,
   How with it he would wipe the mat
If once he had within his grip
   A supper-sissy pup like that.

And, if I sought with purpose grim
   To scent him so, he'd turn and bite
The hand that fed and scented him,
   And, on the whole -- 'twould serve me right.

First published in The Sun-News Pictorial, 29 September 1927

A Terrier's Tale by C.J. Dennis

| No TrackBacks
The other day an Australian terrier, when left in a locked sedan in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, pressed his paw on the klaxon control and attracted such a huge and inquisitive crowd that police were needed to restore orderly traffic.

And these are beings I had deemed wise gods ....
   An old dog said to me the other day,
While we were searching in the garden clods
   For valuable bones long stored away,
That things moved gravely in the world of men
   And, in far countries, war hung in the air;
Because of passions stirred by tongue and pen,
   Suspicion, envy, strife stalked everywhere.
He was a very wise old dog indeed,
So I, a youthful terrier, gave heed.

A man, he told me, was much like a dog,
   In that both of them lived for bones and fights.
And, lately, human minds groped in a fog
   Of sad confusion.  Talk of tribal rights
By loud-mouthed barkers stirred up slumbering greeds,
   Bulldog, Alsatian, Dachshund, Mongrel growled,
And trouble brewed among the differing breeds,
   Till, vexed by clamor, all sat up and howled ....
All this he told; and I was much cast down
When later, with my boss, I drove to town.

A thoughtless man, my boss.  Troubled, forlorn,
   With what I'd heard, he left me in the car.
Soon, reaching out a paw, I blew the horn -
   (You know what these loquacious humans are)
I'd meant to call him.  But, to my surprise,
   Vast crowds of men, on urgent business bent,
Paused, listened, gazed at me with goggling eyes
   As if in wonder at some strange event.
With foolish faces, wholly at a loss,
They gaped. I went on blowing for the boss.

And then policemen came and moved them on.
   They went, reluctantly, as if in doubt,
Some wonder might occur when they had gone
   And they should miss it.  Then the boss came out.
And high time, too!  But, as away we sped,
   I thought of bones, and fights, and men, and life,
And all the things that wise old dog had said.
   Those vacant faces!  Could these banish strife
With human reason?  Vague, dull-witted clods ....
And these are beings I had deemed wise gods!

First published in The Herald, 28 May 1936;
and later in
Random Verse: A Collection of Verse and Prose edited by Margaret Herron, 1952.

Intangile Tigers by C.J. Dennis

| No TrackBacks
The mysterious Jamberoo tiger has been slain at last.  It turned out to be a large cat.

There's a moral in this: tho' I own that the preaching
   Of moral and maxim in season and out
Grows stale; yet these days of depressions far-reaching
   Demand any means to put worry to rout.
So in that menagerie now populated
   By home-coming chickens and wolves upon mats
Consider, when finally doubt's dissipated
   How often our tigers turn out to be cats.

Three-fourths of our troubles some Frenchman has told us,
   But seldom occur.  Tho' the ills of the mind
Loom forth as fierce tigers while doubts yet unfold us,
   They turn into cats once we've put them behind.
How often the dread of some darkened tomorrow
   Has ruined today; till, at Time's urgent call,
Tomorrow's false fears become yester's small sorrow --
   Innocuous cats, and not tigers at all.

So, here is the moral -- just take it or leave it.
   It doesn't much matter, you'll scorn it, no doubt.
Yet here is a truth and, if men don't receive it
   I've still done my duty in pointing it out.
False troubles, false tigers engender false fearing;
   So use the grey matter close under your hat
And, as you fare forth thro' life's dark forests peering,
   Go armed against tigers -- but still expect cats.

First published in The Herald, 9 March 1933

Faithful to the End by Clarinda Parkes

| No TrackBacks
He watches at the sick man's side,
   Still constant at the latest breath;
With love that will not be denied    
To follow, and unterrified,
   His footstep down the ways of death.    

And we behold and question not;
   So common is the wonder grown;
How man such miracle has wrought
That to a brute's dull spirit is taught
   A faith more faithful than his own.     

Nor in some brute of gentle mood:   
   Not so; or were the marvel less;
But in the grey breast of the wood,
Athirst for rapine and for blood,  
   Is risen this soul of tenderness.

Man, if thou wilt explore the cause,
   Ask of the deep and of the height,
And question of eternal laws
The power that all creation draws
   Through darkness to the Infinite.          

In sight nor word the answer lies:
   Yet, humbly listening to thine ears,
Faint as from far, may murmurs rise
Of Love's majestic harmonies,
   That rule the concord of all spheres.        

First published in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 5 September 1896

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

Daley's Dorg by W.T Goodge

| No TrackBacks
"You can talk about yer sheep dorgs," said the man from Allan's Creek,
   "But I know a dorg that simply knocked 'em bandy! --
Do whatever you would show him, and you'd hardly need to speak;
   Owned by Daley, drover cove in Jackandandy.

"We was talkin' in the parlour, me and Daley, quiet like,
   When a blow-fly starts a-buzzin' round the ceilin',
Up gets Daley, and he says to me, 'You wait a minute, Mike,
   And I'll show you what a dorg he is at heelin'.'

"And an empty pickle-bottle was a-standin' on the shelf,
   Daley takes it down and puts it on the table,
And he bets me drinks that blinded dorg would do it by himself -
   And I didn't think as how as he was able!

"Well, he shows the dorg the bottle, and he points up to the fly,
   And he shuts the door, and says to him -- 'Now Wattle!'
And in less than fifteen seconds, spare me days, it ain't a lie,
   That there dorg had got that insect in the bottle."

First published
in The Bulletin, 16 July 1898, and again in the same magazine on 24 June 1899, 27 December 1983 and 24 December 1985;
and later in
From the Ballads to Brennan edited by T. Inglis Moore,  1964;
The Penguin Book of Australian Humorous Verse edited by Bill Scott, 1984; and
Old Ballads from the Bush edited by Bill Scott, 1987.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

The Cattle at the Show by Edward S. Sorenson

| No TrackBacks
To the hunting grounds and granges,
   In their early autumn pride,
To the runs across the ranges
   Where the reckless horsemen ride;
From the roar and rush and rattle
   Of the town my fancies flow,
When I hear the call of cattle,
   See the cattle at the Show.

Mobs along the watercourses,
   Camping in the starry night,
Fresh and sturdy station horses
   Bucking in the morning light,
And the sally for the battle
   On the musteeing camps I know,
When I hear the call of cattle,
   See the cattle at the Show.

Thoughts fly back to busy branders,
   Mid the tumult in the yard;
To the wiry overlanders,
   Slowly moving or on guard,
And the bush camps where they prattle,  
   By the log-fire's cheery glow,
When I hear the call of cattle,
   See the cattle at the Show.

Recollections bring heart-hunger --
   Memories of stockyard fun
Station scenes when life was younger,
   Stirring days on road and run;
Saddle-work and song and tattle.
   Mingling in the brigalow;
When I hear the call of cattle,
   See the cattle at the Show.

Though no more among the rovers,
   Boot and saddle, may I stray,
Or go drifting with the drovers
   Down the rivers far away;
Still a thought is in the wattle
   On the trails of long ago
When I hear the call of cattle,
   See the cattle at the Show.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 2 April 1932

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

The Blue Road by Christine Comber

| No TrackBacks
Slowly down the blue road
   Drifts a flock of sheep
Down the sloping blue road,
   More than fifty deep.

Huddled shoulder-close they move
   Along the dustless track;
Hotly beats the midday sun
   Upon each wooly back.

Now adown the blue road,
   Wide and unconfined,
See a score of rebel sheep
   Lagging far behind.

Rounded to a flock again,
   Driven they know not where,
Slowly down the road drift
   Sheep without a care.

Flock of fleecy cirrus clouds,
   Round and fat and white,
Wind, the shepherd, drives them on
   Slowly out of sight.

First published in The Sydney Mail, 13 February 1935

Author: Nothing is known about the author of this poem.

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

No Choice by W. T. Goodge

| No TrackBacks
"When I was a kiddy and away out-back,"
   Said the man with the salt-bush lingo.
"My dogs, two cattle-dogs, grey and black,
They gets fair on to the blinded track
   Of a walloping great big dingo!
The savagest beast in all the pack -
   Oh, he was the real old stingo!"

"They rounded him up till he climbs a tree
   And of course he was mighty glad to."
"Hold on," says I, "for I never did see
A dingo yet as could climb a tree
   And I've seen 'em run real bad, too!"
"You can say that beast can't climb a tree?
   By the holy smoke he had to!"
First published in The Bulletin, 4 February 1899

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

The Whaler's Pig by E. J. Brady

| No TrackBacks
We shipped him at the Sandwich Isles --
   'Fore God, he's mostly nose ---
We've fetched him full eight thousand miles
   To fatten in the Floes.

The Arctic wind may whistle down
   The ice-strewn Baffin Sea,
Our "passenger" don't care a darn --
   A whaler's pig is he.

The blubber which the brute devours --
   Hard fruit of our harpoon ---
He merely holds in trust; 'tis ours,
   Fresh pork! God send it soon!

Now, when her sloppy deck's amuck
   With stale cetacean spoil,
The glutton wallows in the ruck,
   His paunch a-drip with oil.

When from the crow's-nest rings the shout,
   Clean-echoed "There she blows!"
"Jeff Davis" lifts his grizzled snout,
   To let us know he knows.

The white ash blades drop down and rise,
   The royal chase begins,
He watches with his wicked eyes,
   And multiplies his sins.

With critic squint he stands betide
   The harpooner prepares,
And, if the erring steel goes wide
In swinish tongue he swears
(Great Heavens! how he swears!)

But when we strike her good and fair,
   Before the line runs hot,
He'll lift a hoarse hog cheer out there
   With all the strength he's got.

And when he sees the steerer take
   The bold boat-header's place,
A gourmand smile will slowly break
   Like sunrise round his face.

Around the loggerhead that line
   Grows taut as taut may be --
Three turns to hang your life and mine
   High o'er Eternity!

Who thinks of that? Not I, not you,
   Not he who most complains,
When like hell's fire the blood swirls through
   Our thumping hearts and veins,

'Tis "Fast she is" ----- "Now! ... Let her go!"
   Our college stroke-oar yells;
This hour is worth a life to know;
   'Tis now the savage tells.

They maybe shared (ere progress rose)
   Who sired first earls and dukes,
A kindred ecstasy with those
   Who dodge a "fighter's" flukes.

So felt our simian sires who tied
   Their sheet-o'-bark canoes
To some mosasaur's slimy hide
   With only life to lose.

But this Kanaka hog will see
   The whetted lance succeed;
Glad epicure grunts in glee,
   Fore-knowledged of his feed.

Thus will his belly teach his tongue
   What eloquence it may
(Some noble songs by poets sung
   Have been inspired that way).

So will he squeal approval when
   Our six-hour fight is done,
And lord it bravely in his pen
   O'er quarry chased and won.

So will he join the chanty free
   That echoes as she tows,
To add his porcine jubilee
   And glad his adipose.

It is not clean or nice of taste,
   This episode of trade,
That lurches with indecent haste
   Towards the blubber spade.

But still it goes that man made sail,
   Invented rig on rig,
And God Almighty made the whale
   That feeds the whaler's pig.

This sorry beast which might have drowned,
   As hogs and humans can,
He also made, so runs the round,
   To feed the Whaler-man.

The whaler-man will get his "lay,"
   The whaler's pig his share --
First whale, then pig, then man, some day
   The worm will make it square.

First published
in The Bulletin, 26 June 1897;
and later in
The New Oxford Book of Australian Verse edited by Les Murray, 1986.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

The Old Brown Hen by Louisa Lawson

| No TrackBacks
The bane of my life is an old brown hen,
You never know where to find her, or when;
She's all day long on her wings or her feet,
Tormenting the neighbours, or out in the street;
There never was a fence built so high it could pen
Or keep out of mischief that old brown hen.

She scratches the flower-beds, takes out the seed,
Then gets in the manger and scatters the feed;
She wakes up the baby, and flies at the cat,
And tears, like a fury, the fibre door-mat.
Sometimes I could kill her in cold blood; but then
She lays a fine egg - does the old brown hen.

She upsets the dust-box, fills up the sink,
Then leaves on the white step a footprint like ink:
She makes me so angry, the bird I could choke:
I chase her with potsticks, and pelt her with coke.
But would you believe it? Nine times out of ten
She dodges them all, does the old brown hen.

No beauty or breed has the old brown hen,
She never set foot in a fancier's pen;
Her breast has no feathers, her tail is awry,
And sometime I think she is blind of an eye.
Nobody would steal her, that's certain, but then
They don't know her value -- the old brown hen.
She's laying or hatching the whole year round,
She nests in the long grass, and sits on the ground;
And though she's a terror, and so full of tricks,
If I do not get eggs I'm sure to get chicks.
She never once brought out chicks fewer than ten --
She pays for her keep, does the old brown hen.

First published
in The Australian Town & Country Journal, 13 June 1906;
and later in
The Worker, 22 December 1910; and
Louisa Lawson: Collected Poems with Selected Critical Commentaries edited by L. M. Rutherford, M. E. Roughley and Nigel Spence, 1996.

Author: Louisa Lawson (1848-1920) was born Louisa Albury in Mudgee, New South Wales, and married Niels "Peter" Larsen in 1866; the couple later anglicised their surname to Lawson.  Louisa's son Henry Lawson was born in 1867, and she separated from her husband and moved to Sydney on 1883.  She bought the Republican in 1887 and produced most of the copy in partnership with her son.  In 1888 she started the Dawn, Australian's first publication for women.  After an accident in 1900 her newspaper work slowly waned and she died in Gladesville in 1920.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

Mates by Mary Hannay Foott

| No TrackBacks
We have heavy tidings, old dog, to-day;
   There is sorrow come to us over the sea.

You know there was some one who loved me, Dick? ---
  Some one who loved you because of me? ---
Ah, you know! --- By your wistful eyes on mine
   And your tender touch upon my knee.

How long is it since I found you first
   Footsore and forsaken, by Meela dam,
And carried you home --- you were lighter then ---
   On the saddle like some young motherless lamb? ---
How long since the poley cow had me drowned,
   All but, when straight for her throat you swam?

How long since you tracked for your new-chum mate
   In the ranges, many a weary day.
The maiden ewes that Switzer Karl
   In his full-moon madness hunted away ---
For 'twas you fetched the fifteen hundred back
   With a scanty score for the dingo's prey.

Three years or four --- for the bumble-foot mare
   Has three of a following, since we came
To the ten-mile hut together, old Dick.
   And in winter glow of the gidya flame
And in summer shade of the moth-wing roof
   The dream I have dreamed was the same --- the same.

I have seen forever a fair-haired girl
   Whose troth was kept when none else were true,
Whose presence should gladden her one love's lot;
   I have told it to you, Dick --- only you.
The dear brave letters she always sent! ---
   You knew they were hers? Oh, surely you knew!

But this is not hers that I hold to-day.
   She is dead and buried across the sea.
Yet somewhere she lives and she loves me, Dick;
   And she loves you too --- because of me.
Ah, you understand --- by your eyes on mine
   And your touch so tender upon my knee!

First published in The Queenslander, 24 March 1894

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Old Qld Poetry

See also.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Animals category.

Alcohol and Drinking is the previous category.

ANZAC is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en