The Honorable the City Clerk: Dear Sir,
I got your notice. In it you refer
To the strange fact that I have not yet paid
My dog license. You say a law was made
That city officers have authority
To kill or sell my dog — Well, let us see.
When Socrates drew one foot on the bed
After his draught of hemlock Crito said
“What shall we do with you when you have died?”
To that the old philosopher replied
“Crito, you may do anything you please
If you can catch me.” Now, like Socrates,
My loving dog, I grieve to say, has gone
Into that spacious mystery where soon
You and all city officers and I
Will follow. Athens doomed her sage to die.
“Nature,” he said, “has passed the same decree
Upon my judges that they passed on me.”
So now you may do anything you please
To my dog if you can catch him, except these
Two things that you have threatened, my good sir;
Because it is the special character
Of that state where he is (strange to be told)
That nothing there is ever killed or sold.