Robert William Service (16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)
'Twas in a pub just off the Strand
When I was in my cups,
There passed a bloke with in his hand
Two tiny puling pups;
And one was on me with a bound,
Seeking to lick my face,
And so I bought him for a pound
And took him to my place.
Three acres by the shore I own,
A hut, a pint wood;
And there for fifteen years alone
He shared my solitude.
It was his own, his only world,
And when with hunting spent,
Each night beside my bed he curled,
And slept in sheer content.
My dog is dead. Though lone I be
I'll never have another;
For with his master-worship he
Was closer than a brother.
My foot is frail and I am old,
Yet how my heart can pity
Pups straining on a short leash-hold
And pent up in the city.
From all thought of self above,
And purged of sex emotion,
I know no form of living love
So deep as dogs devotion.
I have no hope at all of heaven,
I've lived in sin and strife;
But thank God! I at least have given
One dog a happy life.
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