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Poem by William Cowper

Epitaph on a Hare

Here lies, whom hound did neer pursue,
Nor swiftewd greyhound follow,
Whose foot neer tainted morning dew,
Nor ear heard huntsmans hallo,

Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,
Who, nursd with tender care,
And to domestic bounds confind,
Was still a wild Jack-hare.

Though duly from my hand he took
His pittance evry night,
He did it with a jealous look,
And, when he could, would bite.

His diet was of wheaten bread,
And milk, and oats, and straw,
Thistles, or lettuces instead,
With sand to scour his maw.

On twigs of hawthorn he regald,
On pippins russet peel;
And, when his juicy salads faild,
Slicd carrot pleasd him well.

A Turkey carpet was his lawn,
Whereon he lovd to bound,
To skip and gambol like a fawn,
And swing his rump around.

His frisking wa at evening hours,
For then he lost his fear;
But most before approaching showrs,
Or when a storm drew near.

Eight years and five round rolling moons
He thus saw steal away,
Dozing out all his idle noons,
And evry night at play.

I kept him for his humours sake,
For he would oft beguile
My heart of thoughts that made it ache,
And force me to a smile.

But now, beneath this walnut-shade
He finds his long, last home,
And waits inn snug concealment laid,
Till gentler puss shall come.

He, still more aged, feels the shocks
From which no care can save,
And, partner once of Tineys box,
Must soon partake his grave. 

William Cowper

William Cowper's other poems:
  1. To The Rev. Mr. Newton
  2. The Dog and the Water Lily
  3. The New Convert
  4. A Figurative Description of the Procedure of Divine Love
  5. Heroism

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