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composed an epitaph on a favourite dog, which for pathos has been rarely surpassed by any, either on the human or canine
It follows the anecdote below, which relates also to the same creature.
INCIDENT CHARACTERISTIC OF A FAVOURITE DOG.
“ This dog I knew well. It belonged to Mrs. Wordsworth's brother, Mr. Thomas Hutchinson, who then lived at Sockburn-on-the-Tees, a beautiful, retired situation, where I used to visit him and his sisters before my marriage. My sister and I spent many months there after our return from Germany in 1799.”
From the brink her paws she stretches,
Very hands as you would say !
And afflicting moans she fetches,
As he breaks the ice away.
For herself she hath no fears, –
Him alone she sees and hears,-
Makes efforts with complainings; nor gives o'er
Until her fellow sinks to re-appear no more.”
More thou deserv'st; but this man gives to man,
Brother to brother, this is all we can.
Yet they to whom thy virtues made thee dear
Shall find thee through all changes of the year :
This oak points out thy grave; the silent tree
Will gladly stand a monument of thee.
We grieved for thee, and wished thy end were past;
And willingly have laid thee here at last :
For thou had'st lived till every thing that cheers
In thee had yielded to the weight of years ;
Extreme old age had wasted thee
And left thee but a glimmering of the day ;
Thy ears were deaf, and feeble were thy knees,-
I saw thee stagger in the summer breeze,
Too weak to stand against its sportive breath,
And ready for the gentlest stroke of death.
It came, and we were glad ; yet tears were shed;
Both man and woman wept when thou wert dead ;
Not only for a thousand thoughts that were,
Old household thoughts, in which thou had'st thy share;
But for some precious boons vouchsafed to thee,
Found scarcely anywhere in like degree !
For love, that comes wherever life and sense
Are given by God, in thee was most intense ;
A chain of heart, a feeling of the mind,
A tender sympathy, which did thee bind
Not only to us Men, but to thy Kind :
Yea, for thy fellow-brutes in thee we saw
A soul of love, love's intellectual law :-
Hence, if we wept, it was not done in shame;
Our tears from passion and from reason came,
And, therefore, shalt thou be an honoured name !"
even shewed tenderness when he wrote on
THE OLD SHEPHERD'S DOG. “ The old Shepherd's dog, like his master, was gray ;
His teeth all departed, and feeble his tongue;
Yet where'er Corin went, he was follow'd by Tray;
Thus happy through life did they hobble along.
When fatigued, on the grass the shepherd would lie,
For a nap in the sun—'midst his slumbers so sweet,
His faithful companion crawl'd constantly nigh,
Placed his head on his lap, or lay down at his feet.
When winter was heard on the hill and the plain,
And torrents descended, and cold was the wind,
If Corin went forth 'midst the tempests and rain,
Tray scorn’d to be left in the chimney behind.
At length in the straw Tray made his last bed ;
For vain, against death, is the stoutest endeavour-
To lick Corin's hand he rear'd up his weak head,
Then fell back, closed his eyes, and, ah! closed them for ever.
Not long after Tray did the Shepherd remaiv,
Who oft o'er his grave with true sorrow would bend;
And when dying, thus feebly was heard the poor swain,
Oh bury me, neighbours, beside my old friend !""
AN ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF A MAD DOG.
“Good people all, of every sort,
Give car unto my song;
And if you find it wondrous short,
It cannot hold you long.