Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SYCAMORE, by BENJAMIN FRANKLIN KING



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SYCAMORE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Pecooliarity of his bark
Last Line: "he never'll sic 'em more."
Alternate Author Name(s): King, Ben
Subject(s): Animals; Death; Dogs; Plane Trees; Dead, The; Sycamores


PECOOLIARITY of his bark,
An' yit not only that,
We found 'im every mornin' on
The front peazzer mat.
So Cenath got ter likin' 'im,
'N' one day says ter me,
"I'm goin' ter call 'im Sycamore,
He sticks so cluss," says she.

She used ter sic 'im on the tramps
That come aroun' the place,
'N' book agents 'n' other scamps,
He'd give 'em all a chase --
He scooted over fences, an'
Aroun' the farm he'd run,
'N' then come back 'n' wag his tail
'S if he'd bin havin' fun.

I never had ter sic 'im on
Ter any livin' thing,
I've seed that dog take arter birds,
Yes, birds 'at's on the wing,
'N' chase 'em 'bout a mild er so,
Ter see 'f they wouldn't light;
Then he'd sit down 'n' watch 'em till
They flew clean out er sight.

The dangdest dog he was t' hunt,
'N' had the keenes' scent;
One day he smell'd an animile,
An' after him he went.
To'rds dark he come a-laggin' back,
'N' any one could tell
That Sycamore had captured 'im,
We knew it mighty well.

He pulled out every rooster's tail
I had aroun' the coop,
'N' kept our yaller Thomas cat
Hid underneath the stoop.
An' when a vehicle druv by
He'd skoot out thro' th' door
'N' sic 'em down the dusty road
A half a mild er more.

He'd lay behin' the hottest stove
'N' bark out in his sleep,
'N' work his jints 'n' try ter run
'S if he was chasin' sheep,
Till last he took a fit one day
'N' stagger'd 'roun' the floor;
We thought one time he wouldn't live
Ter sic 'em any more.

He had fun with a peddler onct,
An' chased 'im 'round the well.
I wish as you'd a just bin there
An' heerd that feller yell:
"Git out! Git out! Call of yer dog!"
He thought his jig was up.
Says I: "Don't be afraid o' him,
He's nothin' more'n a pup."

He used ter sic the thunder, too,
An't used ter give us pain
Ter see him set out in a storm
'N' bark up at the rain.
He'd shift his headt' one side
When he'd hear the thunder roar,
'N' then bark all the harder 'f I'd say:
"Sic 'em, Sycamore!"

He sict all of my neighbor's sheep,
'N' did a pile o' harm;
He took my horses and my colts
'N' raced 'm 'roun' the farm.
I jist can see him runnin' yit,
His tail a-flyin' high,
But why it is we're mournin' now
Is how he come ter die.

I sold 'im to a farmer 'cause
He got so cross an' mean,
When one day long in harves' time
He jumpt a thrash machine.
They said he give one little yelp --
'N' then went up the spout.
Poor Sycamore got harvested,
That's what we're sad about.

We mourn to think our dear old friend
At last got "squeezed in wheat."
They found his collar -- tail -- some hair --
The rest was sausage meat.
His gentle bark had sailed away
Far to some canine shore.
My wife shed tears 'n' said, "Poor dog,
He never'll sic 'em more."





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