'Twas ever thus from childhood's hour!
My fondest hopes would not decay:
I never loved a tree or flower
Which was the first to fade away!
The garden, where I used to delve
Short-frock'd, still yields me pinks in plenty:
The peartree that I climb'd at twelve
I see still blossoming, at twenty.

I never nursed a dear gazelle;
But I was given a parroquet -
(How I did nurse him if unwell!)
He's imbecile, but lingers yet.
He's green, with an enchanting tuft;
He melts me with his small black eye:
He'd look inimitable stuff'd,
And knows it - but he will not die!

I had a kitten - I was rich
In pets - but all too soon my kitten
Became a full-sized cat, by which
I've more than once been scratch'd and bitten.
And when for sleep her limbs she curl'd
One day beside her untouch'd plateful,
And glided calmly from the world,
I freely own that I was grateful.

And then I bought a dog - a queen!
Ah Tiny, dear departing pug!
She lives, but she is past sixteen
And scarce can crawl across the rug.
I loved her beautiful and kind;
Delighted in her pert Bow-wow:
But now she snaps if you don't mind;
'Twere lunacy to love her now.

I used to think, should e'er mishap
Betide my crumple visaged Ti,
In shape of prowling thief, or trap,
Or coarse bull-terrier - I should die.
But ah! disasters have their use;
And life might e'en be too sunshiny:
Nor would I make myself a goose,
If some big dog should swallow Tiny.