I am unclean among some;
how I suffered when young.
Even now men kick me, spit on me.
But I don’t know despair.
My paws have brought me,
the sheep my company,
through vale and desert and over
My bark has summoned men and boys
to the woolly fallen,
and well I known the signs in the flockmaster’s
calls and whistles.
I lead the hunt with a hearty bay,
and seek the lost in snowy mountain passes.
The keenness of my nose you can’t conceive,
and with it I’m your yokefellow.
But these men who throw stones and hurl abuse–
They make black leather wrinkle.
Soft eyes but a growing rumble in my gut,
a low hum in my chest.
My lips are wet and begin to pull back like significant curtains.
My ears have kept the night watch,
And many a wolf I’ve brought down–
felled like trees–
with these fangs, shepherd’s javelins
in my jaws.
Now they gleam in the twilight,
and the rumble ascends.
I’m giving you warning:
as deep as my growl,
so steadfast is my devotion,
as harrowing as my snarl
and bone-bruising as my bite,
so unyielding is my grip.
I am the dog.