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By Rebecca Pou, task Archivist

To celebrate nationwide Poetry Month, we room sharing a city from our collection each week during April.

You are watching: An elegy on the death of a mad dog

Our critical poem, An Elegy on the death of a foolish Dog, is by Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774). Our Rare book Room contains an Oliver Goldsmith Collection, which contains 112 version of his novel The Vicar that Wakefield, along with many that his various other works. Many of the repertoire was donated through Mrs. Alberta Clay, the daughter of NYAM’s an initial director, Linsly R. Williams, M.D., in 1942.

Oliver Goldsmith may seem to be a bit out of place in a clinical collection, but NYAM has actually an interest in works of literary works by and about physicians. Prior to establishing himself together an essayist, poet, and also novelist, Goldsmith test a career in medicine. Goldsmith studied medication in Edinburgh and also Leyden, although that is not specific he ever received his medical degree. In London, he operated for a time together an apothecary’s assistant and a physician, however ultimately he specialized himself to writing. Still, in spite of his questionable credentials, Goldsmith was taken into consideration a doctor and often attributed together “Oliver Goldsmith, M.B.”

An Elegy ~ above the death of a mad Dog is found in The Vicar of Wakefield, whereby the Vicar asks his child to recite it, and also in collection of Goldsmith’s works and also poetry. This version and the images are native The Poetical works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. native 1863.

An Elegy ~ above the death of a mad Dog

Good human being all, the every sort, offer ear depend my song ; And, if you discover it wondrous brief – that cannot hold you long.

In Islington there to be a man Of whom the people might say, that still a godly race he ran – Whene’er he saw pray.

A kind and also gentle heart he had, To lull friends and also foes ; The naked every job he clad – when he placed on his clothes.

And in that city a dog was discovered : As many dogs there be ; Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound, and also curs of short degree.

This dog and also man at first were girlfriend ; But, when a pique began, The dog, to get some personal ends, go mad, and bit the man.

Around, from every the adjoining streets, The wondering neighbours ran ; and swore the dog had actually lost his wits, to bite so an excellent a man.

The wound that seem’d both sore and also sad to every christian eye ; And, while lock swore the dog was mad, they swore the guy would die.

But shortly a wonder came to light, the show’d the rogues castle lied : The guy recover’d the the bite ; The dog the was that died.


“Oliver Goldsmith.” Concise dictionary of British literature Biography. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale Research, 1992. Story In Context. Web. 24 Apr. 2013.

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“Oliver Goldsmith.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 25 Apr. 2013.