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.
Tho' 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 that 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.
Tho' he roared pretty well--this the puppy allows--
It was all, he says, borrowed--all second-hand roar;
And he vastly prefers his own little bow-wows
To the loftiest war-note the Lion could 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 carcass.
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.