ONLY A DOG
“He left no relatives”, they said, “He didn’t have a friend
Who knew about his sorry plight – was with him at the end!”
And so they raked the stove fires out, and closed the old shack door,
For grouchy, crusty old Tom Dare would open it no more.
Then each went to his own home fires, forgot the lonely shack,
And not a soul was near to see, an old form stumble back
And crouch, sad-eyed, beside the door, his bony length stretched flat.
He waited for his master’s voice, his friendly little pat.
Days had been lean for old Tom Dare, not food enough for two
But old Tom whispered to his dog, “I’ll share along with you,
Since Jennie went away from us, there’s been no one to care
No one but you to give a thought, for lonely old Tom Dare.”
And so the two of them had shared, if it be feast or fast
That morning Rover had a bone – it was their very last.
And there was nothing left for Tom – it didn’t matter so
Because he lay upon his bed, and knew that he must go.
The careless villagers passed by, as they were pleasure-bound,
But none of them took time to see, the faithful, hungry hound.
Too tired and true to leave his post, he stayed there to the end
And folks had said of old Tom Dare, “He didn’t have a friend!”
The days have passed, but no one stops, of all that come and go
Old Rover lies beside the door, half-hidden in the snow.
I know that old Tom had a friend, a loyal friend, because
Today I found old Rover dead, the bone between his paws.

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