Soo-Ti - A Pekinese

A poem by R. C. Lehmann

Soo-Ti, I thank the careful fate
That made you wise and obstinate,
Alert, but with a proper pride,
And gay, but wondrous dignified.
I praise your black and tilted nose;
I praise your heart's deep love that shows
In songs made up of whimpering cries
And in the radiance of your eyes
(And if they bulge - forgive the allusion -
Are eyes the worse for such protrusion?
The smaller eyes are, sure, the blinder,
And size makes every kind eye kinder).
Next with affection's look I note
The glossy levels of your coat,
Where a rich black doth most prevail,
Shading to beaver in your tail,
And lightly fading as it reaches
The tufted things you wear as breeches.

The dweller on the cushion purrs
No less when Soo-Ti barks and stirs.
She blinks and blinks and lets you share
Her bowl of milk, her fav'rite chair.
For you she hides her cruel claw
And taps you with a velvet paw;
And, mastered by your lordly air,
For you is meek and debonair.
Even should you growl her hair stays flat:
Be sure she thinks you half a cat.
But you're a Dog and know your job:
Oft have I seen you hob-a-nob,
And grandly gracious to unbend
With a Great Dane, your humble friend.
As on the lawn with him you roll,
He makes your very being droll.
Yet how you set to work to flout him,
To tease and gnaw and dance about him!
You risk the pressure of his paws,
Plunge all you are within his jaws,
And, swelling to a final rage,
With pin-point teeth the fight engage,
While he submits his silly size
To every insult you devise.
At last, withdrawing from the fuss,
You come and tell your tale to us,
Bearing aloft through every room
Your high tail's undefeated plume,
Till, fed with triumphs, you subside,
And sleep and doff your native pride,
Composing in a wicker fane
Those limbs that terrify the Dane.

So, Soo-Ti, I have tried to praise
Yourself and all your winning ways,
Content if I may guard and please
My little dusky Pekinese.

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