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To a Dog

by John Jay Chapman

Past happiness dissolves. It fades away,
Ghost-like, in that dim attic of the mind
To which the dreams of childhood are consigned.
Here, withered garlands hang in slow decay,
And trophies glimmer in the dying ray
Of stars that once with heavenly glory shined.
But you, old friend, are you still left behind
To tell the nearness of life's yesterday?
Ah, boon companion of my vanished boy,
For you he lives; in every sylvan walk
He waits; and you expect him everywhere.
How would you stir, what cries, what bounds of joy,
If but his voice were heard in casual talk,
If but his footstep sounded on the stair!

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