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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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