Poem: The Bottom Dog

    He loved his master dearly in the days of long ago ;

       His dirty kennel and his scanty food

    To him were blessings, and he sought no other things to know,

       And all the world looked on and called it good.

    But now, because this canine dares to bark for something more,

       The masters curse him for a greedy hog,

    And wish that they could kick him as they did in days of yore,

       To teach him he is but the Bottom Dog.


    In days of old when foreign thieves his master’s house would spoil,

       He thought it but his duty and his “bis,”

    To guard his master’s property—the fruits of others’ toil,

       With life and limb as though these things were his.

    To-day he views his master with distrust and e’en with scorn,

       Much as the Bull looked on the bloated frog.

    His faithfulness has vanished through the terrors he has borne,

       And now they call him “Bolshie Bottom Dog.”


    Ungrateful whelp! hast thou forgot thy master’s loving care ?

       Regardless of your puny puppy’s whine,

    To shield you from the wintry blast, and summer heat and glare,

       Consigned you to the comforts of the mine.

    Hast thou not learned in all these years the dignity of work?

       The pride of being just a human cog

    In those vast wheels of industry that grind for those who shirk ?

       Oh! bad, unpatriotic Bottom Dog!


    Now just because some dogs have lost an eye, a paw, or leg,

       They snarl and growl at Barnes and Clynes and Hodge—

    The master’s friends—who tell them if they’ll just sit up and beg

       There’ll be more offal for the Bottom Dog.

    But these are signs the mongrel, who is not devoid of pluck,

       With instinct clearing of its mental fog,

    Will seize the thieves who rob him and I wish the bounder luck

       To end the days of Top and Bottom Dog.


F. G. Thompson

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