A Parallel







A has a wife who loves him much
And clings to him with fervour great;
But A 's perversity is such
He really seems to loathe his mate.
I, who am B, observe with pain
A's brutal conduct and disdain.

I, pining for a soul to love,
Procure a small fox terrier, C;
When (who can tell the springs which move
The canine mind?) she takes to me.
She shares my meal. Her nightly doze
Is taken on my chest or toes.

So, for three long delightful days
I thrill with selfish exultation;
I laud her most obtrusive ways,
I drag her all about the station;
At office, dinner, walk, or ride,
I like to have her at my side.

About my path, about my bed,
Come sure and certain as the Fates,
The pattering feet, the wistful head,
The liquid gaze that—irritates.
I fight against a growing chill;
I strive to think I love her still.

My days grow void of all delight,
She follows me to every place;
I cannot take my rest at night,
She licks devotedly my face.
The tail that wags for none but me
Becomes a meek monotony.

I make no other dog my care
(I wish that I could tell her so),
Or wander off to places where
A good fox terrier should not go.
I only want at times to be
Alone with no one else but me.

I do not care for winning ways
From six A.M. till ten at night;
I even shun her liquid gaze;
I almost wish that she could bite.
I cannot thrash her off—I tried.
It bound her closer to my side.

'Tis wrong to kill, 'tis vain to strike.
I will not cast her off—as yet.
I have no reason for dislike.
I know I ought to love my pet.
I know I am a heartless traitor
Which makes me more than ever hate her.