1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Leigh Hunt

Thomas Moore, "The 'Living Dog' and the 'Dead Lion'" The Times (10 January 1828).



Next week will be published (as "Lives" are the rage)
The whole Reminiscences, wondrous and strange,
Of a small puppy-dog, that lived once in the cage
Of the late noble Lion at Exeter 'Change.

Though the dog is a dog of the kind they call "sad,"
'Tis a puppy that much to good breeding pretends;
And few dogs have such opportunities had,
Of knowing how lions behave — among friends.

How the animal eats, how he snores, how he drinks,
Is all noted down by this Boswell so small;
And 'tis plain, from each sentence, the puppy dog thinks
That the Lion was no such great things after all.

Though he roared pretty well — this the puppy allows—
It was all, he says, borrow'd — all, second-hand roar;
And he vastly prefers his own little bow-wows
To the loftiest war-note the Lion would pour.

'Tis, indeed, as good fun as a Cynic could ask,
To see how this cockney-bred setter of rabbits
Takes gravely the Lord of the Forest to task,
And judges of lions by puppy-dog habits.

Nay, fed as he was (and this makes it a dark case)
With sops every day from the Lion's own pan,
He lifts up his leg at the noble beast's carcase,
And — does all a dog, so diminutive, can.

However, the book's a good book, — being rich in
Examples and warnings to lions high-bred,
How they suffer small mongrelly curs in their kitchen,
Who'll feed on them living, and foul them when dead.
T. PIDCOCK
Exeter 'Change.