In Memoriam – A Tribute Poem by Henry Willett
by Henry Willett
I miss the little wagging tail;
I miss the plaintive, pleading wail;
I miss the wistful, loving glance;
I miss the circling welcome-dance.
I miss the eyes that, watching, sued;
I miss her tongue of gratitude
That licked my hand, in loving mood,
When we divided cup or food.
I miss the pertinacious scratch
(Continued till I raised the latch
Each morning), waiting at my door;
Alas, I ne’er shall hear it more.
“What folly!” hints the cynic mind,
“Plenty of dogs are left behind
To snap and snarl, to bark and bite,
And wake us in the gloomy night.
“You should have sought a human friend,
Whose life eternal ne’er could end—
Whose gifts of intellect and grace
Bereavement never could efface.”
Plenty of snarling things are left,
But I am of a friend bereft;
I seek not intellect, but heart—
‘Tis not my head that feels the smart.
While loving sympathy is cherished,
While gratitude is not quite perished;
While patient, hopeful, cheerful meeting
At our return is pleasant greeting;
So long my heart will feel a void—
Grieving, my mind will be employed—
When I, returning to my door,
Shall miss what I shall find no more.
When we, at last, shall pass away,
And see no more the light of day,
Will many hearts as vacant mourn—
As truly wish for our return?
Yet love that’s true will ever know
The pain of parting. Better so!
“Better to love and lose” than cold,
And colder still, let hearts grow old.
So let the cynic snarl or smile,
And his great intellect beguile;
My little dog, so true to me,
Will dear to heart and memory be.
As published in “The Dog’s Book of Verse” – Collected by J. Earl Clauson
A Public Domain Work.
(I can’t help but to think of a Pug when I read this tribute poem.)