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Featured Poem: The Little Dog’s Day by Rupert Brooke

Written by Lisa Spurgin, 18th November 2013

To celebrate 'A Dog's Life', our latest Short Course for Serious Readers taking place at Calderstones Mansion House this coming Wednesday, this week's selected Featured Poem comes as a homage to our beloved canine companions.

Of course, there are many examples of dogs to be found in literature, from the adventurers to the faithful friends who go at a slower pace. This particular nameless hound, brought to life by Rupert Brooke, is anything but tame as he seeks a change of direction on a new day, causing more than a certain amount of chaos.

Do you empathise with this little dog as it goes on its way? Perhaps you have a special place in your heart for a literary dog? Let us know by sharing your shaggy dog stories with us here on the blog, on Twitter or Facebook.

The Little Dog's Day

All in the town were still asleep,
When the sun came up with a shout and a leap.
In the lonely streets unseen by man,
A little dog danced. And the day began.

All his life he'd been good, as far as he could,
And the poor little beast had done all that he should.
But this morning he swore, by Odin and Thor
And the Canine Valhalla—he'd stand it no more!

So his prayer he got granted—to do just what he wanted,
Prevented by none, for the space of one day.
"Jam incipiebo, sedere facebo,"
In dog-Latin he quoth, "Euge! sophos! hurray!"

He fought with the he-dogs, and winked at the she-dogs,
A thing that had never been heard of before.
"For the stigma of gluttony, I care not a button!" he
Cried, and ate all he could swallow—and more.

He took sinewy lumps from the shins of old frumps,
And mangled the errand-boys—when he could get 'em.
He shammed furious rabies, and bit all the babies,
And followed the cats up the trees, and then ate 'em!"

They thought 'twas the devil was holding a revel,
And sent for the parson to drive him away;
For the town never knew such a hullabaloo
As that little dog raised—till the end of that day.

When the blood-red sun had gone burning down,
And the lights were lit in the little town,
Outside, in the gloom of the twilight grey,
The little dog died when he'd had his day.

Rupert Brooke


With the pre-Christmas rush already starting to whirl about us, our next Short Course for Serious Readers is a welcome haven from the stress, hustle and bustle. In 'Stop The World I Want To Get Off!' we'll be sharing some classic pieces of literature to provide some literary escape amidst the chaos, carrying through the peace and calmness the words provide well past the season.

For all the information on our Short Courses for Serious Readers, see our website, and to book your place contact Sophie Johnson on or call 0151 207 7207.

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