Papa Poodle.

A poem by Juliana Horatia Ewing

Can any one look so wise, and have so little in his head?
How long will it be, Papa Poodle, before you have learned to read?
You were called Papa Poodle because you took care of me when I was a baby:
And now I can read words of three syllables, and you sit with a book before you like a regular gaby.
You've not read a word since I put you in that corner ten minutes ago;
Bill and I've fought the battle of Waterloo since dinner, and you've not learned BA BE BI BO.
Here am I doing the whole British Army by myself, for Bill is obliged to be the French;
And I've come away to hear you say your lesson, and left Bill waiting for me in the trench.
And there you sit, with a curly white wig, like the Lord Chief Justice, and as grave a face,
Looking the very picture of goodness and wisdom, when you're really in the deepest disgrace.
Those woolly locks of yours grow thicker and thicker, Papa Poodle.
Does the wool tangle inside as well as outside your head? and is it that which makes you such a noodle?
You seem so clever at some things, and so stupid at others, and I keep wondering why;
But I'm afraid the truth is, Papa Poodle, that you're uncommonly sly.
You did no spelling-lessons last week, for you were out from morning till night,
Except when you slunk in, like a dirty door-mat on legs, and with one ear bleeding from a fight,
Looking as if you'd no notion what o'clock it was, and had come home to see.
But your watch keeps very good meal-time, Papa Poodle, for you're always at breakfast, and dinner, and tea.
No, it's no good your shaking hands and licking me with your tongue,--I know you can do that;
But sitting up, and giving paws, and kissing, won't teach you to spell C A T, Cat.
I wonder, if I let you off lessons, whether I could teach you to pull the string with your teeth, and fire our new gun?
If I could, you might be the Artillery all to yourself, and it would be capital fun.
You wag your tail at that, do you? You would like it a great deal better?
But I can't bear you to be such a dunce, when you look so wise; and yet I don't believe you'll ever learn a letter.
Aunt Jemima is going to make me a new cocked hat out of the next old newspaper, for I want to have a review;
But the newspaper after that, Papa Poodle, must be kept to make a fool's cap for you.

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