(26 February 1913 – 27 October 1991 / Essex, England)

The Power Of The Dog

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and 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 your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie--
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find--it's your own affair--
But...you've given your heart for a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!);
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone--wherever it goes--for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart for the dog to tear.

We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long--
So why in Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

User Rating: 3,4 / 5 ( 17 votes ) 7

Comments (7)

brilliantly covered 12 months in poetic diction
The absolute best calendar of poetry I have ever read. Look at NOVEMBER: November, when the fires love to burn, and leaves flit about and fill the air where the old tree grieves.. ....... Or look at JUNE..... June discards his shirt and trousers by the stream and takes the first dip of the year........ There are so many lines in this poem to like!
Covered every month nicely. I enjoyed it..10
A vivid sketch of every month with it's expressions seen in any year. Thanks for sharing.
Lovely, beautiful, just loved this poem..thank you for sharing.
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