Rudyard Kipling, infamous writer of The Jungle Book, was an avid dog lover and owned many faithful friends throughout his life. Through his poetry, we can relate to the amazing yet heart-breaking relationship we share with our four-legged companions.
By, 21 Mar 2019
Celebrating poetry worldwide
Today, the world is celebrating poetry - humanity’s common literature, our proof that no matter how different we all are, we often share the same questions and feelings. Poetry is a form of art that should not be forgotten; but read and heard every day.
In celebration of this special day, we share with you one of Rudyard Kipling’s (an avid dog-lover) most touching pieces – a beautiful poem about the bittersweet relationship we have with our dogs; these loyal and devoted companions that inevitably, always end up breaking our hearts.
The Power of the Dog
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?
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