The Beggar’s Dog.

Rambling one day in London city,1
I saw a dog that raised my pity,2
A wretched cur all skin and bone,3
That in the gutter crawled along ;4
And in his mouth (I smiled at that)5
He held an old and crownless hat.6
With quick and deferential eye,7
He watched the bustling passers-by,8
Who in their haste, as on they fared,9
Nor cast a glance at him nor cared.10
Yet some, when they had passed some paces,11
Would halt with grins upon their faces ;12
His story was so plain indeed,13
So clear, that he who ran might read :14
A beggar’s dog—his master dead15
The beast still carries on the trade,16
And trusts by diligence and care,17
The public patronage to share.’18
I sauntered on ; but as I went,19
My thoughts upon that dog were bent.20
Behold !’ I said in meditation,21
The force of custom, education ;22
And though we laugh at him—’tis sad23
Some human plans are quite as bad.24
How many schemes in this same town25
Are merely hats without the crown ;26
Ways indirect, but most complete,27
Of tossing money on the street.’28