The Dead Boy's Portrait and His Dog – A Poem by Gerald Massey


Day after day I have come and sat
Beseechingly upon the mat,
Wistfully wondering where you are at.

Why have they placed you on the wall,
So deathly still, so strangely tall?
You do not turn from me, nor call.

Why do I never hear my name?
Why are you fastened in a frame?
You are the same, and not the same.

Away from me why do you stare
So far out in the distance where
I am not? I am here! Not there!

What has your little doggie done?
You used to whistle me to run
Beside you, or ahead, for fun!

You used to pat me, and a glow
Of pleasure through my life would go!
How is it that I shiver so?

My tail was once a waving flag
Of welcome. Now I cannot wag
It for the weight I have to drag.

I know not what has come to me.
'Tis only in my sleep I see
Things smiling as they used to be.

I do not dare to bark; I plead
But dumbly, and you never heed;
Nor my protection seem to need.

I watch the door, I watch the gate;
I am watching early, watching late,
Your doggie still!—I watch and wait.

Gerald Massey.
As published in "The Dog's Book of Verse" Collected by J. Earl Clauson
A Public Domain Work.

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