Friday, May 05, 2006

An Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog

Finally found the poem I was looking for since years, with an interesting story to go with it:

An Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog

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 some 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 seemed 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 showed the rogues they lied:
The man recovered of the bite,
The dog it was that died.

– Oliver Goldsmith

The story:

Snake dies after biting priest.
Indo-Asian News Service
Ranchi, July 11, 2005

A snake bites a priest. The snake vomits blood and dies. The priest recovers — it all happened in a Jharkhand village and is being attributed to Lord Shiva’s blessings. The man who was bitten and lived to tell the tale was the priest of the Nag Devta (Snake God) temple in Badapaghar village of Dumka district, 450 km from here. “Lord Shiva’s charisma saved me,” the priest was quoted as saying in local newspapers after he was bitten by a five ft snake in the temple premises. The snake vomited blood and died immediately after biting the priest, who is recuperating in hospital. “Usually a person does not survive if the snake dies or gets killed after biting. The priest has not only survived but is also behaving normally,” said a villager.

For the author's explanation of the tale in context :


Random Walker said...

is there any explanation why this might happen? a snake dying instead of the man? i mean scientific not literary.

Gandaragolaka said...

I dont have the foggiest idea!