Sunday Poem ~ (also author of ‘Jungle Book’)

The Power of the Dog

Rudyard Kipling, 18651936

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 to 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 to a 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?

This poem is in the public domain.

Rudyard Kipling

Joseph Rudyard Kipling is best known for his novels The Jungle Book, The Second Jungle Book, and Kim, and his most famous poem, “If“.

Living Life to the Best of Your Possibility
‘One can judge a nation by the way it treats its most vulnerable’ ~Aristotle
Victoria Kaloss

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. sabinekvenberg
    Jan 24, 2016 @ 14:02:17

    Thank you for sharing this post. I have two dogs and really can relate to this. I have to post it on my blog as well. I think it will resonate with man people.

    Reply

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