A poem by Lady Londonderry’s lover.Epitaph on a dog, for a family pet called Popsy Boo is a rather sweet rare poem by Henry, sometimes known as Harry, Cust. I’m currently writing a new version of my 2014 book Dreams and Recipes 1904 – 1914 in eBook format. I’m adding lots of photos and removing the old poems but just mentioning them by name instead to allow space for the pics. As I adore the poems I will post each one here on my blog as I come across it. This one is by a man who had a great way with the ladies, and caused many a ripple in British society during his lifetime. In an interview with the Royal biographer Michael Thornton, Lady Diana Cooper revealed that he was also the Daddy of Beatrice Stephenson, mother of Margaret Thatcher. He was a busy poet and writer too!
EPITAPH ON A DOG
By Henry Cust
that head and heart of dearness
in splendid faithful following of his master’s example
the joy of life, the heart of love
worshipped by master, mistress and children
died in a mist of tears
“Who travels now through all that shadowy way”
“from which no sparrows come again, they say”
Ever faithful and following
He loved much and sinned much
But every sin and love he decorated.
bland, suave and prudent
he was blind to a multitude of things he saw and
deaf to a larger multitude of things he heard
by his fortunate faculty
of barking at the right moment
he not infrequently saved
the fortunes of the family,
of affection to his memory.
Occasional Poems (Jerusalem 1918)