The House Dog’s Grave – Robinson Jeffers, 1941

July 28, 2009

I’ve changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment,
You see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you’d soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking pan.

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the night through
I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read–and I fear often grieving for me–
Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope than when you are lying

Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.
No, dear, that’s too much hope: you are not so well cared for
As I have been.

And never have known the passionate undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided. . . .
But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures
To the end and far past the end. If this is my end,

I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.

Robinson Jeffers, 1941

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2 Responses to “The House Dog’s Grave – Robinson Jeffers, 1941”


  1. […] « The House Dog’s Grave – Robinson Jeffers, 1941 […]

  2. james jay Says:

    A Dog Named Beau

    Written by Jimmy Stewart

    Beau

    He never came to me when I would call
    Unless I had a tennis ball,
    Or he felt like it,
    But mostly he didn’t come at all.

    When he was young
    He never learned to heel
    Or sit or stay,
    He did things his way.

    Discipline was not his bag
    But when you were with him things sure didn’t drag.
    He’d dig up a rosebush just to spite me,
    And when I’d grab him, he’d turn and bite me.

    He bit lots of folks from day to day,
    The delivery boy was his favorite prey.
    The gas man wouldn’t read our meter,
    He said we owned a real man-eater.

    He set the house on fire
    But the story’s long to tell.
    Suffice it to say that he survived
    And the house survived as well.

    On the evening walks, and Gloria took him,
    He was always first out the door.
    The Old One and I brought up the rear
    Because our bones were sore.

    He would charge up the street with Mom hanging on,
    What a beautiful pair they were!
    And if it was still light and the tourists were out,
    They created a bit of a stir.

    But every once in a while, he would stop in his tracks
    And with a frown on his face look around.
    It was just to make sure that the Old One was there
    And would follow him where he was bound.

    We are early-to-bedders at our house–
    I guess I’m the first to retire.
    And as I’d leave the room he’d look at me
    And get up from his place by the fire.

    He knew where the tennis balls were upstairs,
    And I’d give him one for a while.
    He would push it under the bed with his nose
    And I’d fish it out with a smile.

    And before very long
    He’d tire of the ball
    And be asleep in his corner
    In no time at all.

    And there were nights when I’d feel him
    Climb upon our bed
    And lie between us, And I’d pat his head.

    And there were nights when I’d feel this stare
    And I’d wake up and he’d be sitting there
    And I reach out my hand and stroke his hair.
    And sometimes I’d feel him sigh
    and I think I know the reason why.

    He would wake up at night
    And he would have this fear
    Of the dark, of life, of lots of things,
    And he’d be glad to have me near.

    And now he’s dead.
    And there are nights when I think I feel him
    Climb upon our bed and lie between us,
    And I pat his head.

    And there are nights when I think
    I feel that stare
    And I reach out my hand to stroke his hair,
    But he’s not there.

    Oh, how I wish that wasn’t so,
    I’ll always love a dog named Beau.

    ~ Jimmy Stewart ~


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