Ambrose Bierce

(24 June 1842 - 26 December 1913 / Horse Cave Creek, Ohio)

To A Stray Dog - Poem by Ambrose Bierce

Well, Towser (I'm thinking your name must be Towser),
You're a decentish puppy as puppy dogs go,
For you never, I'm sure, could have dined upon trowser,
And your tail's unimpeachably curled just so.

But, dear me! your name-if 'tis yours-is a 'poser':
Its meaning I cannot get anywise at,
When spoken correctly perhaps it is Toser,
And means one who toses. Max Muller, how's that?

I ne'er was ingenious at all at divining
A word's prehistorical, primitive state,
Or finding its root, like a mole, by consigning
Its bloom to the turnep-top's sorrowful fate.

And, now that I think of it well, I'm no nearer
The riddle's solution than ever-for how's
My pretty invented word, 'tose,' any clearer
In point of its signification than 'towse'?

So, Towser (or Toser), I mean to rename you
In honor of some good and eminent man,
In the light and the heat of whose quickening fame you
May grow to an eminent dog if you can.

In sunshine like his you'll not long be a croucher:
The Senate shall hear you-for that I will vouch.
Come here, sir. Stand up. I rechristen you Goucher.
But damn you! I'll shoot you if ever you gouch!


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, September 29, 2012



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