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On A Dog
JK (1784-1856 / Jamaica)

On A Dog

Thy happy years of deep affection past,
Cartouche! our faithful friend, rest here—at last.
We loved thee for a love man scarce might mate;
And now we place thee here with sadness, great
As man may own for brute. Might less be given
To love so pure as thine and so unriven?

Love was thy very life. Thine every thought,—
Or instincts—all to that one impulse wrought.
Our words—our very looks—to thee were known;
The shade of feature like the touch of tone.
The pensive brow might some light sorrow press,
(Such as, erewhile, o'er hour of blissfulness

May flit, like summer-cloud, soon come and gone)
'Twas then the lifted eye, and wistful moan,
And head, laid gently on the sufferer's knee,
Told—plain as speech—how sad that grief to thee.
Or did some cheerier look, or word, betray,
How slight soe'er, the sadness passed away;
Soon the gay bound—fond crouch—or winning whine
As plainly said how much our joy was thine.

That flame of living love, to-day—to-morrow—
The same, thro' circling years of joy or sorrow;
That even, as revolving years went by,
Seemed but to glow with more intensity,
Say! could it be created but to die?
Must man's alone survive his earthly state?
And all of love beside wheel but a date
Ephemeral—to sink annihilate?

Vain questionings are these of 'Is' or 'Ought!'
Oh vain! perchance unholy strife of thought.
Chase, reasoning Brain! these doubts that creep and steal;
And cease to think—tho' not ashamed to feel.

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