The One Absolutely Unselfish Friend

The one absolutely unselfish friend

that man can have in this selfish world,

the one that never deserts him,

the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous

is his dog.

A man's dog stands by him

in prosperity and poverty,

in health and sickness.

He will sleep on the cold ground

where the wintry winds blow

and the snow drives fiercely,

if only he may be near his master's side.

He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer;

he will like the wounds and sores that come

in encounters with the roughness of the world.

He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were

a prince.

When all other friends desert he remains.

When riches take wings

and reputation falls to pieces,

he is constant in his love

as the sun in its journey

trough the heavens.

- Senator George Graham Vest, 1869

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