Terrier(From "To a
Skylark" by Percy Bysshe Shelley)
Music: Overture to Dido and
Aeneas.By Henry Purcell. Sequenced by David Nicol.
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Louder still and louder From thy throat
it sparkest, Like a clap of thunder; Outside my home thou parkest,
And barking still dost stay, and staying ever barkest.
In the golden light'ning Of the sunken
sun, O'er which clouds are bright'ning, Thou dost woof and run,
Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.
The pale purple even Sets off your
terrier white; Thank God there aren't seven In the broad daylight.
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight:
Keen as are the arrows Of that silver
sphere Whose intense lamp narrows In the white dawn clear,
Although we cannot see, we hear that you are there.
All the earth and air With thy voice is
loud, As when night is bare, From one lonely cloud The moon
rains out her beams, and heaven is overflow'd.
What thou art we know not; Thou art not a
hound. From thunderheads there flows not Such a boisterous sound,
As from thy presence showers--a nuisance all around:
Like a poet hidden From the light of
thought, Writing trash unbidden, Till the world is wrought To
sympathy with sufferers it heeded not:
Like a low-born tom cat On a garbage
heap, Sending his love-laden Howls hideous and deep, Meows so
full of yearning, none of us can sleep:
Like an earth-worm buried In a clump of
soil, Scattering unbeholden The products of its toil Among the
cakes and sandwiches we wrapped up in tin foil:
Like a crap embower'd In a bed of leaves,
By warm winds deflower'd, Till the scent it gives Makes faint
the hearts of the most harden'd thieves.
Sound of vernal showers On the thin wood
roof, Rain-awaken'd hoursWith vodka 90 proof,Joyous and clear
and fresh--doth inspire this spoof.
Teach us, sprite or dog, What brave
thoughts are thine:I have never heard Praise of love or wine
That panted forth such flood of yowl and whine.
Chorus hymeneal, Or triumphal chant,
Match'd with thine would be all But an empty vaunt--A thing
wherein we feel there is some hidden want.
What objects are the fountains Of thy
snappy strain? What fields, or waves, or mountains? What shapes of
sky or plain? What love of thine own kind? what urine-haunted
With thy clear keen joyance Languor
cannot be: Though shadows of annoyance Often follow thee: Thou
barkest, but ne'er knew barking's sad satiety.
Waking or asleep, Thou of death must deem
Things more true and deep Than we mortals dream, Or how could
thy notes flow in such an endless stream?
We look before and after, And pine for
what is not: Our sincerest laughter With some pain is fraught;
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest
Yet, if we could scorn Hate and pride and
fear, If we were things born Not to shed a tear, I know not
how thy exuberance we ever should come near.
Better than all measures Of delightful
sound, Better than all treasures That in books are found, Is
the peace and quiet when you're not around!
Teach me half the gladness That thy brain
must know; Such cacophonous madness From my lips would flow,
The world should stop its ears, as I wish I could