Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Power of the Dog

There is sorrow enough in the natural way,
From men and from women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and you think to buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie;
Perfect passion and friendship, fed
By a curse as well as a pat on the head
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the short term of years which Nature permits
Is ending in asthma, or fever, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or leveled guns
You'll find it also your affair
And that you have given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the thing that lived at your single will
With it's whimper of welcome, is still (how still),
And the spirit that answered your every word
Is gone, wherever it goes, for good,
You will discover how much you did dare
When you gave your heart to a dog to tear.

We've debt enough in the natural way
When it comes to burying our two-legged clay;
For treasures aren't given, but only lent,
At compound interest of building percent,
And though I've no firm figures I firmly believe
That the longer they're the longer we grieve

Yet when debts come true, for right or for wrong
A short term lone seems as bad as a long
So why in hell, before we're all called there
Should we give our hearts for a dog to tear?

- Kipling

1 comment:

Gil said...

Either Rudy had a bad day at work or he just lost his dog. And then there's Groucho:
"Outside a dog, man's best friend is a book. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read."