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To Flush, My Dog by Elizabeth Barrett Browning


"To Flush, My Dog" is a comparasison between two dogs, which are metaphors for her family and friends. Basically, she states that family will be there for your ups and downs no matter how good and bad they are, whereas friends and aquaintances expect you to always be happy and in a good mood.

The two dogs are an interesting metaphor. To me, it says a lot about owners and what they expect when they get a pet. One set of owners expect the dog to be happy all the time while the others expect the dog to go through ups and downs when they are together. That's not saying the owners are in the wrong, it's just an interesting comparison. Nonetheless, the dogs are the same way. Dogs are never always happy. They are sad when we are away, for example. They are also sad if you don't play with them.


To Flush, My Dog

Yet, my pretty sportive friend,
Little is't to such an end
That I praise thy rareness!
Other dogs may be thy peers
Haply in these drooping ears,
And this glossy fairness.

But of thee it shall be said,
This dog watched beside a bed
Day and night unweary -
Watched within a curtained room,
Where no sunbeam brake the gloom
Round the sick and dreary.

Roses, gathered for a vase,
In that chamber died apace,
Beam and breeze resigning.
This dog only, waited on,
Knowing that when light is gone
Love remains for shining.

Other dogs in thymy dew
Tracked the hares, and followed throughv
Sunny moor or meadow.
This dog only, crept and crept
Next a languid cheek that slept,
Sharing in the shadow.

Other dogs of loyal cheer
Bounded at the whistle clear,
Up the woodside hieing.
This dog only, watched in reach
Of a faintly uttered speech,
Or a louder sighing.

And if one or two quick tears
Dropped upon his glossy ears,
Or a sigh came double -
Up he sprang in eager haste,
Fawning, fondling, breathing fast,
In a tender trouble.

And this dog was satisfied
If a pale thin hand would glide
Down his dewlaps sloping -
Which he pushed his nose within,
After -platforming his chin
On the palm left open.

Published in .

Next: The Weakest Thing
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Literary Movement
Victorian, 19th Century

Animal, Relationship, Family, Friendship

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