The Dog and the Bear

by William Somervile

William Somervile

Towser , of right Hockleian sire,
A dog of mettie and of fire,
With Ursin grim, an errant Bear,
Maintain'd a long and dubious war:
Oft Ursin on his back was tost,
And Towser many a collop lost;
Capricious fortune would declare
Now for the Dog, then for the Bear,
Thus having tried their courage fairly,
Brave Ursin first desir'd a parley: —
" Stout combatant, " quoth he, " whose might
I've felt in many a bloody fight,
Tell me the cause of all this pother,
And why we worry one another? " —
" That's a moot point, " the cur replied,
" Our masters only can decide:
While thou and I our heart's-blood spill,
They prudently their pockets fill;
Halloo us on with all their might,
To turn a penny by the fight. "
" If that's the case, " return'd the Bear,
" 'Tis time at last to end the war;
Thou keep thy teeth, and I my claws,
To combat in a nobler cause;
Sleep in a whole skin, I advise,
And let them bleed who gain the prize. "


Parties enrag'd on one another fall;
The butcher and the bear-ward pocket all.

Last updated October 28, 2017