To Tim An Irish Terrier
O jewel of my heart, I sing your praise,
Though you who are, alas! of middle age
Have never been to school, and cannot read
The weary printed page.
I sing your eyes, two pools in shadowed streams,
Where your soul shines in depths of sunny brown,
Alertly raised to read my every mood
Or thoughtfully cast down.
I sing the little nose, so glossy wet,
The well-trained sentry to your eager mind,
So swift to catch the delicate glad scent
Of rabbits on the wind.
Ah, fair to me your wheaten-coloured coat,
And fair the darker velvet of your ear,
Ragged and scarred with old hostilities
That never taught you fear.
But oh! your heart, where my unworthiness
Is made perfection by love's alchemy,
How often does your doghood's faith cry shame
To my inconstancy.
At last I know the hunter Death will come
And whistle low the call you must obey.
So you will leave me, comrade of my heart,
To take a lonely way.
Some tell me, Tim, we shall not meet again,
But for their loveless logic need we care?--
If I should win to Heav'n's gate I know
You will be waiting there.
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