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.