Billeder på siden

the wrong tack in England in perverting the character of a creature designed for these homely purposes, and compelling him to range the fields in search of game, and on occasion to assume that strained attitude which evoked Mr Winkle's astonishment.

law or by custom, invariably muzzled. on patting terms with more than one poodle, when in full dress always a satisfactory article to pat; but the poodled Spitz, in Germany apparently apparently a favourite animal, I avoid on principle. Dachshunds, some of them very good, others perhaps from the connoisseur's point of view equally good but with an exaggeration of the bow in the front legs that renders their gait wearisome to themselves and painful to the uninitiated observer, may be said to swarm in every street. Still, after making all due allowance for the popularity of the dachshund, it seems to me that substance rather than quality in the matter of his canine companion appeals to the mind of the well-to-do German, and that he does not thoroughly enjoy his daily constitutional unless he is accompanied by either mastiff, St Bernard, Bismarck hound, commonly of all, a pointer with his tail cut short. I must admit that to my insular mind it seemed at the first blush to be a sort of profanation of a sporting dog's dignity to dock his tail and convert him into a non-sporting man's companion on an aimless walk through crowded thoroughfares or along dusty roads. Yet when I saw how naturally he played the part, sniffing at likely corners, exchanging compliments with canine friends, or picking up savoury morsels in the street, a suspicion crossed my mind that we had been on



Dogs of these larger types are also much in favour with petty hucksters, and those whom I have heard spoken of in England as "kitchen-garden farmers." What the big dog does here in his private life on the homestead I have had no opportunity of discovering, but from his well-cared-for appearance and jaunty gait when he appears in his public capacity of "draught animal" I conclude that, like the Irishman's pig, he ranks as no unimportant member of the family. At first I was inclined to pity the poor animals as I watched them either in single or double harness, -the farmer himself or the farmer's boy being often the yoke-fellow, dragging to or from the market a low-built, but by no means lightly laden, cart. But, as in the case of the pointer, I am beginning to reverse my opinion. the longer I watch the proceeding, the more convinced do I become that the animal is performing his proper function in life. As an American humourist once remarked, a Newfoundland dog is an excellent animal to save the life of a child who falls into a pond. But, he added, if you have neither child nor pond handy, the Newfoundland is apt to become an expensive pensioner.


So, too, with the St Bernard, most valuable auxiliary to the distressed traveller lost in a snowdrift. What is the object of his existence on the outskirts of a country town, where there are neither distressed travellers nor snow - drifts? Clearly to warn off intruders from the homestead by his sonorous bark at night, and in the daytime to take his share of the day's work by acting as a draught animal. In that capacity he is less obstinate and more intelligent than the coster's donkey, a far more rapid mover than the ox, less sensitive to road alarms than the horse. And, if one can judge from appearances, he does his share of the day's work not only with hearty goodwill but with positive pleasure. For he wags his tail as he walks along, and when his master calls a halt at the end of a stiff incline he looks rather surprised than gratified. Let me lay emphasis on the fact that, of some hundred dogs which in my daily walks I have watched drawing carts, I have never seen one that did not appear to be on excellent terms with himself, his master, and the world at large. Nor have I witnessed a single instance of anything approaching ill-treatment. We all of us know, my good English farmer or miller, that uncouth creature which you choose to call your yard - dog, a poor beast which diversifies its long bouts of sleepy sulkiness in the daytime by growling savagely and springing to the full length of its chain in the attempt

to demolish some inoffensive stranger, and which disturbs your neighbours' rest by discordant barkings at the moon, or at other sight, or it may be sound, of the night. I grant you that the poor animal partly fulfils his purpose as a tramp-scarer. But if you will only condescend to take a leaf out of your German brotherfarmer's book, and give poor Phylax a little healthy exercise by day in the form of drawing a cart, you will at once be saving your own pocket and converting a savage, suspicious, and probably hypochondriacal barbarian into a healthy, happy, and self-respecting citizen. Nor will you be in any degree impairing the efficiency of your night-watchman. A dog who has done a good day's work may bury his nose in his paws and enjoy a healthy and invigorating sleep. But he will never slumber so soundly that the approach of a strange footfall will fail to awaken him, and if he merely omits to bay the moon or to bark at rustling leaves, neither you nor your neighbour will be the loser.

The German horses seem distinctly good, the best of them probably not better than good English horses, but the worst of them many classes superior to the wretched screws with which we are only too familiar. Possibly the Germans have discovered that a really bad horse saves his keep and brings grist to the mill by being converted into sausages. Curiously enough, in this district there is a great dearth of

ponies, and still more curiously, on asking the reason, I was told that the country round about was too hilly for them. I had always been led to believe that there was a natural affinity between hills and ponies.

Never, except perhaps in the looking-glass, have I clapped eyes upon a donkey since I came to Germany. It is possible again that potted donkey may be in request for sausages. Standing on the bridge here on one market-day, I watched seven vehicles go past me. Of these, two were drawn by pairs of horses; two by single horses, looking very lop-sided by reason of being on one side of a pole instead of between the shafts; one was drawn by a pair of dogs; the sixth by a dog and a boy, and the last by-a cow. Not an ox, mind, but a bond-fide mother of the milky herd, and a good milker, too, I would warrant her. The dear old lady, who was moving at a snail's pace, looked singularly out of her element. And she wore a distinctly bored and even apologetic look, as of one who would like to have said to me, "Look here, Mr Englisher, this isn't my job at all, but one must lend a leg occasionally to oblige a neighbour."

The German child-which,

being of the neuter gender, on the ground, I conclude, of its irresponsibility, must certainly rank after the dog, which, as being a working member of the community, is masculine— struck me when I saw it on the streets and roads as being a very independent and easily amused atom. Dirty, very dirty the village child; perhaps not really dirtier than its English cousin, but looking dirtier by reason of the bare legs and feet. The German toy-shop is a thing to dream of, and yet nothing more costly than a rag-doll seems to reach the cottager's child. Nor did I ever see a village boy with either hoop, top, or ball. But the children seem to get on excellently well without toys, and I have enjoyed watching their games. A week ago, when walking with my German friend, we came across a party of happy bare-legged girls, who, having bedizened themselves with wild-flowers and leaves, were playing at "Matrimony," the tiny bride being, in spite of her unwashed appearance, a really lovely child. Turned back in our walk by an evilsmelling pond, we found, ten minutes later, the same party still playing. But this time they were "christening the baby."




Dante saw the great white Rose
Half unclose;

Dante saw the golden bees

Gathering from its heart of gold
Sweets untold,

Love's most honeyed harmonies.

Dante saw the threefold bow
Strangely glow,

Saw the Rainbow Vision rise,

And the Flame that wore the crown
Bending down

O'er the flowers of Paradise.

Something yet remained, it seems;
In his dreams

Dante missed-as angels may

In their white and burning bliss-
Some small kiss
Mortals meet with every day.

Italy in splendour faints

'Neath her saints!

O, her great Madonnas, too,
Faces calm as any moon
Glows in June,

Hooded with the night's deep blue!

What remains? I pass and hear

Ay, or see in silent eyes

Just the song she still would sing

O'er the cradle where He lies.


Sleep, little baby, I love thee;

Sleep, little king, I am bending above thee!
How should I know what to sing

Here in my arms as I swing thee to sleep?
Hushaby low,

Rockaby so,

Kings may have wonderful jewels to bring,

Mother has only a kiss for her king!

Why should my singing so make me to weep?

Only I know that I love thee, I love thee,
Love thee, my little one, sleep.


Is it a dream? Ah yet, it seems
Not the same as other dreams!

I can but think that angels sang,
When thou wast born, in the starry sky,
And that their golden harps out-rang
While the silver clouds went by!

The morning sun shuts out the stars,
Which are much loftier than the sun;
But, could we burst our prison-bars

And find the Light whence light begun,
The dreams that heralded thy birth
Were truer than the truths of earth;
And, by that far immortal Gleam,
Soul of my soul, I still would dream!

A ring of light was round thy head,
The great-eyed oxen nigh thy bed
Their cold and innocent noses bowed!

Their sweet breath rose like an incense cloud
In the blurred and mystic lanthorn light!

About the middle of the night

The black door blazed like some great star With a glory from afar,

Or like some mighty chrysolite

Wherein an angel stood with white

Blinding arrowy bladed wings

Before the throne of the King of kings;

And, through it, I could dimly see

A great steed tethered to a tree.

Then, with crimson gems aflame
Through the door the three kings came,
And the black Ethiop unrolled
The richly broidered cloth of gold,
And poured forth before thee there
Gold and frankincense and myrrh!

« ForrigeFortsæt »