Robert William Service (16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)
Nurse, won't you let him in?
He's barkin' an' scratchen' the door,
Makin' so dreffel a din
I jest can't sleep any more;
Out there in the dark an' the cold,
Hark to him scrape an' whine,
Breakin' his heart o' gold,
Poor little pooch o' mine.
Nurse, I was sat in ma seat
In front o' the barber shop,
When there he was lickin' ma feet
As if he would never stop;
Then all of a sudden I see
That dog-catcher moseyin' by:
"Whose mongrel is that?" says he;
"It's ma pedigree pup," says I.
Nurse, he was starved an' a-stray,
But his eyes was plumbful o' trust.
How could I turn him away?
I throwed him a bit o' a crust,
An' he choked as he gluped it up,
Then down at ma feet he curled:
Poor little pitiful pup!
Hadn't a friend in the world.
Nurse, I was friendless too,
So we was makin' a pair.
I'm black as a cast-off shoe,
But that li'le dog didn't care.
He loved me as much as though
Ma skin was pearly an' white:
Somehow dogs seem to know
When a man's heart's all right.
Nurse, we was thick as thieves;
Nothin' could pry us apart,
An' now to hear how he grieves
Is twistin' a knife in ma heart.
As I worked at ma shoe-shine stand
He'd watch me wi' eyes o' love,
A-wigglin' an' lickin' ma hand
Like I was a god above.
Nurse, I sure had no luck
That night o' the rain an' then fog;
There was that thunderin' truck,
And right in the way - ma dog.
Oh, I was a fool, I fear;
It's harder to think than to feel . . .
I dashed in, flung the pup clear,
But - I went under the wheel. . . .
Nurse, it's a-gittin' dark;
Guess ma time's about up:
Don't seem to hear him bark,
Poor, broken-hearted pup! . . .
Why, here he is, darn his skin!
Lickin' ma face once more:
How did the cuss get in?
Musta' busted the door.
God, I'm an ol' black coon,
But You ain't conscious o' race.
I gotta be goin' soon,
I'll be meetin' You face to face.
I'se been sinful, dice an' hooch,
But Lordy, before I die
I'se a-prayin': "Be good to ma pooch" . . .
That's all - little mutt, good-bye.
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