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Robert X Leeds

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The Vagabond and his Dog
by Robert X Leeds
Saturday, September 03, 2011
Rated "G" by the Author.
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The story of a Vagabond and his old dog at St. Peter's Gate in Heaven.


The Vagabond

and His Dog

by Robett X. Leeds

It was the dawn of another day


As God looked out to see

What scriptured promise would come to pass,

What promise would not be.

And turning aside, He turned his eyes

To those who’d dwell inside,

To those who’d warm by Heaven’s hearth

And those who’d be denied.



And He saw a man at St. Peter’s gate,


A mongrel dog at his feet,

In a line that reached to the dark of night

As far as the eye could see.

And St. Peter greeted the disheveled two

And challenged the wretch to say,

What deeds he’d done,  what praise he’d won,

To walk in Heaven’s way.



And the vagrant stood in his shabby



And not one word he spoke,

As though he heard not a single word

This man in the tattered cloak.

“What deeds have you done to think you’ve won

The grace of Heaven’s line?

What honors earned?  What evils spurned?

Pray help me be inclined.


But the wretched soul and his


 shepherd hound

Stayed on without a sound

As though no deed could come to mind,

As though no reason found.

“Can you not find one deed so fine,

To merit entrance here?

Can none attest some honored quest,

A challenge still unclear?”



And still he stood and but held the



That stayed the mongrel hound.

Until he knelt to feel the ground

And kiss the furry crown.

As love was cast in skin and bone,

He held the dog around,

And Heaven watched and Heaven judged

This vagabond and his hound.



“What seeds were sowed that a


 flower’d grow

     When you’d depart the scene?              

A single tree?  One slave made free?

One clean and shining sea?

Was not one life made free of strife

Along the path you strolled?

Was not one child encouraged to smile?

No good that can be told?”



And all looked on at the vagabond

          Who held the unkempt hound.

But not one voice to sway the choice,

          No plaintiff voice was found.

And when at last, his patience past,

St. Peter bid unkind

And motioned on to the dark beyond,

“No reason you can find?”


“Not one but simple virtue be

That all of us may see?

Not one redeeming act of faith

Did bring you here to me?

In all your time can you not find

One voice for yours to plea?

In all your time can you not find

One voice to vouch for thee?”



And now at last his time though past,

The vagabond turned to speak;

And his eyes were filled with tears that spilled

And coursed the craggy cheeks.

And from his heart the speech did start

To argue not his sake,

But to plead the cause of the mongrel dog,

That lay in Heaven’s wake.





"Perhaps it ain’t for me to see

The paradise within.

I was a simple soul on earth

This hound my only kin.

But if the children’s smiles count,

His cup’s filled to the brim.

Oh, I can vouch for this hound, your grace.

I can vouch for him.


You should’a seen them laugh and run

When he was all their game.

You should’a seen the love he gave

And never once complain.

And when the tide of time arose

And naught was there to eat,

He shared the taste of an empty plate

And stayed at these failing feet.














It ain’t for me,” he whispered soft,

“It ain’t for me I ask.

But don’t deprive this poor old hound

For what his master lacks.

If caring and sharing and loyalty

Are virtues of your size,

Consider one who lacks of none,

Let Heaven be his prize.


It matters not what comes of me,

Or what may come about.

But it just ain’t fair.  It wouldn’t be fair

To keep my poor hound out.

No friend has ever been so true .

No man has walked a line,

Who never strayed, but not this dog,

This hound that I call mine.”


His fingers stroked the shaggy coat

And the dog licked back the hand;

And as much was said in the silence there,

Than since God’s quest began.

And then abrupt, the hound looked up

And labored with its head

To lick this face of human grace,

This man of tattered thread.


And suddenly a calm would be

That tethered every sound.

And a warm breeze blew that embraced the two,

This vagabond and his hound.

And St. Peter turned to the mist beyond

And paused with uplifted head.

To heed the voice of Almighty God

And to do as He has said.


 Ive set the task and I have asked

For virtues held and shared.

To dwell in a world of every kind

And for every kind have cared.

And now I’ve seen dimensions dreamed

That seldom I’ve seen before,

A simple man and his faithful hound,

Denied at my own door?”


With pen in hand, St. Peter began

To enter on his list,

The names of those whom God had chose

To dwell in Heaven’s bliss.

And one belonged to a vagabond

And the other he called his kin;

The man who vouched for an old hound dog

And the hound dog who vouched for him.



Epic Publishing

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Reviewed by Connie Faust 9/4/2011
This wonderful poem should become famous. It brought me near to tears.

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Reviewed by jon gutmacher 9/3/2011
very nice
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