I was impressed by this lovely poem that stands as a foreword in the book I have just begun to read today and thought I must share it with you all! As you may or may not know my border collie passed away quite unexpectedly a couple of weeks ago and while I had decided to wait til summer to look for another companion, circumstances led me to adopt now. I can’t believe how empty my life felt without my Dollie there with me. My new pup keeps me on my toes and my mind busy, but she cannot completely erase the hole left by the loss of Dollie. Still, I love her very much and am quite glad to have her! I will have to have a post dedicated to her in the near future….until then I hope this little poem brings you as much joy as it has me!
“A swirl of gold-and-white and gray and black,—
Rackety, vibrant, glad with life’s hot zest,—
Sunnybank collies, gaily surging pack,—
These are my chums; the chums that love me best.
Not chums alone, but courtiers, zealots, too,—
Clean-white of soul, too wise for fraud or sham;
Yet senseless in their worship ever new.
These are the friendly folk whose god I am.
A blatant, foolish, stumbling, purblind god,—
A pinchbeck idol, clogged with feet of clay!
Yet, eager at my lightest word or nod,
They crave but leave to follow and obey.
We humans are so slow to understand!
Swift in our wrath, deaf to the justice-plea,
Meting out punishment with lavish hand!
What, but a dog, would serve such gods as we?
Heaven gave them souls, I’m sure; but dulled the brain,
Lest they should sadden at so brief a span
Of heedless, honest life as they sustain;
Or doubt the godhead of their master, Man.
Today a pup; to-morrow at life’s prime;
Then old and fragile;—dead at fourteen years.
At best a meagre little inch of time.
Oblivion then, sans mourners, memories, tears!
Service that asks no price; forgiveness free
For injury or for injustice hard.
Stanch friendship, wanting neither thanks nor fee
Save privilege to worship and to guard:—
That is their creed. They know no shrewder way
To travel through their hour of lifetime here.
Would Man but deign to serve his God as they,
Millennium must dawn within the year.”
Excerpt From: Albert Payson Terhune. “Buff: A Collie and other dog-stories.”
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