To a Vaudeville Terrier by Christopher Morely

Three times a day—at two, at seven, at nine—
O terrier, you play your little part:
Absurd in coat and skirt you push a cart,
With inner anguish walk a tight-rope line.
Up there, before the hot and dazzling shine
You must be rigid servant of your art,
Nor watch those fluffy cats—your doggish heart
Might leap and then betray you with a whine!

But sometimes, when you’ve faithfully rehearsed,
Your trainer takes you walking in the park,
Straining to sniff the grass, to chase a frog.
The leash is slipped, and then your joy will burst—
Adorable it is to run and bark,
To be—alas, how seldom—just a dog!