Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Eulogy and Epitaph of Lord Byron's Dog

Eulogy and Epitaph of Lord Byron's Dog

Poets of all ages have sting the praises of dogs, and one of the noblest and truest tributes ever paid to canine worth is expressed in the lines of Lord Byron which, with the epitaph inscribed to his dog, Boatswain, run as follows:

“When some proud son of man returns to earth.
Unknown to glory but upheld by birth.
The sculptor's art exhausts the pomp of woe.
And storied urns record who rest below;
When all is done, upon the tomb is seen
Not what he was, but what he should have been:
But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend.
The first to welcome, foremost to defend.
Whose honest heart is still his master's own.
Who labors, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonored falls, unnoticed all his worth.
Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth;
While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven.
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.
Ye, who perchance behold this simple urn,
Pass on—-it honors none you wish to mourn:
To mark a Friend’s remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one—-and here he lies."

         “Near this spot,
  Are deposited the remains of one
 Who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
      Strength without Insolence.
      Courage without Ferocity.
 And all the Virtues of man without his Vices.
This Praise which would be unmeaning Flattery
    If inscribed over human ashes,
 is but a just tribute to the Memory of

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