In celebration of National Poetry Month, we’ve been posting some of our favorite poems from our collections here at the Issaquah History Museums.
This poem by Robert Legg entitled “To Whomsoever It May Be That Poisoned My Dog Bounce” was probably published in the late 1890s. The poem references the Panic of 1893 but is about the death of Robert Legg’s dog Bounce . Robert Legg was an early resident of Issaquah, settling in the area around 1890, and father to infamous Issaquah “outlaw” Ben Legg. Learn more about the Legg family here. See more records related to Robert Legg and family here at our digital collections.
|Robert Legg’s poem, ca late 1890s
To Whomsoever It May Be That Poisoned My Dog Bounce
By Robert Legg
Do hear my prayer and grant my curse
And I will shortly give the cause
Why I violate human laws.
It was during the panic of nint[e]y-four
When the wolf was howling at my door
Always on one I could depend
My honest dog, my faithful friend.
For when my children cried for bread
My dog Bounce knew what they said
For straight to them he’d never fail
To give his paw and wag his tail.
Which meant young master be in good cheer
Shortly I will supply you all with deer,
Regardless to sunshine, storm or hail
He climbed the mountain and took the trail.
For many miles far around
He knew where the game could be found,
Full well he [k]new my accurate aim
When he heard the shot we had the game.
I never had cause him to abuse
And always content with the refuse
It was on the 22nd of September
While blood warms my veins I’ll remember.
It was only one week before
A buck on the mountain did him gore
Regardless to storm, rain or pain
We resolved that buck to hunt again.
Like Wolfe for honor he was a slave
Now that buck and Bounce lie in their grave
I may strive but in vain
Before I get a Bounce again.
Then by the Blessed virgin pure and true
This wicked act keep in view
Before your Father who art in Heaven
Till purged by those pennance be forgiven.
May they endure Job’s tormenting pain
Without reward of his flocks again
And scorned by all around his home
And like a pilgrim forced to roam,
First by famine and thirst to feast
Like Nebuchadnezzar along with the beast
And before his sand of time shall run
Like Ezekiel dying on filthy dung.
May ever day increase his care
And sorrow beset him everywhere
Pressed with such a heavy load
He will dread his shadow in the road.
May his offsprings scorn him in their teens
And the devil haunt him in his dreams
And With his crops perish in their bloom
At last suffer Brutusses’ woeful doom.
This be my curse, the brutish hog,
For the murder of my human dog.