Appalachia, hunting, Logan, Logan Democrat, poet, poetry, poets, West Virginia, writers, writing
From the Logan Democrat of Logan, WV, comes this poem written by J. Rush Cook titled “Faithful Rover,” published January 21, 1915:
Old Rover was a faithful dog,
He stuck through thick and thin;
With me he crossed a thousand logs,
We’ve waded a hundred bogs
With the mud up to his chin.
We’ve hunted together, day and night,
He’s treed ten thousand mice;
He never retreated in a fight
Whether in darkness or in light,
And never barked but thrice.
One on the scent, one at the tree–
His gait was swift and strong;
Third, a long–that was for me,
Where e’er I might be,
To hustle and hurry along.
And when I’d reach the long sought spot,
Always on top of the hill,
A lookin’ wise there Rover sot,
Jump up and round he’d hop–
Could never keep him still.
And then, of course, the tree I’d cut
Old Rover sitting night;
Perhaps three, four feet at the butt
Pretty hard to crack such a nut!
But I did it without a sigh.
Down in the top old Rover would go,
To catch the game, you see;
But always in the tree below,
Old Rover would try to show,
Was the game for him and me.
With this repeated till at the foot,
He’d start up t’other side,
And then to me it began to look
As plain as an open book,
That Rover had surely lied.
I don’t think he meant to lie,
His guilt I could not own;
But in his eagerness to try
He always looked too high,
As others I have known.
Old Rover was built for strength,
Was deep across the chest–
His hips didn’t lack for breadth,
Neither his legs for length–
‘Tis needless to tell the rest.
He had a curl in his tail
As nearly all dogs do,
But he straightened it out on the trail–
It might hook on a briar or rail
And get to bleeding, too.
The scent of the game be lost–
The smell of blood is strong,
This he knew at any cost,
If this trail he happened to cross
The game would surely be gone.
Old Rover has passed away
To the happy hunting ground;
And there I hope he’ll stay
And tree his game each day,
And do his own cutting down.