Together they sit in the eventide,
A mongrel dog by his master’s side,
Both of them bowed by the weight of years.
A trembling hand strokes the silky ears;
Brown eyes look up at the face above,
Alight with trust and joy and love.
Perchance they dream of the days of yore
These two, when they tramped the hills and shore;
Day when a young dog’s scampering feet
Circled the sand with frenzied beat,
Chasing the gulls till their raucous cry
Echoed from cliff and sea and sky.
Or roaming the paths where woodlands green
Proffered delights from depths unseen;
Rat and rabbit and alien smell;
Dewdrops held in the morning’s spell.
But now, together they sit content,
The joys of youth for both long spent;
Watching the sun set over the hill,
Seeing the snow on the window sill.
If God so wills, may the same ebb tide
Bear them both to the other side
To rove each Heavenly cliff, glen, bog –
A happy old man and his mongrel dog.
Poem by Kathleen Faragher from ‘These Fairy Shores: Poems of the Isle of Man in English & Manx Dialect’ (1962); artwork by unknown artist)