A Bishop and his Dog
 

Photograph from the archives of the
Cathedral of All Saints,Albany, New York


Cluny, a St. Bernard, was the constant companion of the first Bishop of Albany, New York, William Croswell Doane, not only on the streets of the City but in the Capitol and other government buildings where the bishop was a familiar figure.  History does not record Cluny's presence at divine service in the Cathedral and other churches of the diocese, but his friendship with the bishop clearly did play a role in the "full homely divinity" of one of the leading figures of the Episcopal Church in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


CLUNY

I am quite sure he thinks that I am God–
Since He is God on whom each one depends
For life, and all things that His bounty sends–
My dear old dog, most constant of all friends;
Not quick to mind, but quicker far than I
To Him whom God I know and own; his eye,
Deep brown and liquid, watches for my nod;
He is more patient underneath the rod
Than I, when God His wise corrections sends.
He looks love at me, deep as word e’er spake;
And from me never crumb or sup will take
But he wags thanks with his most vocal tail;
And when some crashing noise wakes all his fear
He is content and quiet if I’m near,
Secure that my protection will prevail;
So, faithful, mindful, thankful, trustful, he
Tells me what I unto my God should be.

                                 William Croswell Doane

 

CLUNY

η κτισις ελευθερωθησεται απο της δουλειας της φθορας
                                                                      Romans VIII-21

May 24-25, 1902

He had lived out his life, but not his love;
Daily up steep and weary stair he came,
His big heart bursting with the strain, to prove
His loneliness without me. Just the same
Old word of greeting beamed in his deep eye,
With a new look of wonder in it, asking why
"The whole creation groans and travails." He
And I there faced the mystery of pain.
Finding me dumb and helpless, down again
He went, unanswered, with the dawn to die,
And find the mystery opened with the key,
"The creature from corruption’s bondage free."

                                 William Croswell Doane


Cluny (II)
1992-1999

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