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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

An Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog

Oliver Goldsmith (1730–1774)

GOOD people all of every sort,

Give ear unto my song;

And if you find it wondrous short,—

It cannot hold you long.

In Islington there was a man,

Of whom the world might say,

That still a godly race he ran,—

Whene’er he went to pray.

A kind and gentle heart he had,

To comfort friends and foes;

The naked every day he clad,—

When he put on his clothes.

And in that town a dog was found,

As many dogs there be,

Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,

And curs of low degree.

This dog and man at first were friends:

But when a pique began,

The dog, to gain his private ends,

Went mad, and bit the man.

Around from all the neighbouring streets

The wondering neighbours ran,

And swore the dog had lost his wits,

To bite so good a man.

The wound it seem’d both sore and sad

To every Christian eye;

And, while they swore the dog was mad,

They swore the man would die.

But soon a wonder came to light,

That show’d the rogues they lied:

The man recover’d of the bite,

The dog it was that died.