Lord Byron's poem
Inscription on the Monument of a
Newfoundland Dog, Boatswain,
by Lord Byron
When some proud son of man returns to
Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth,
The sculptur'd art exhausts the art of woe,
And stoned 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 labours, fights, lives, breathes, for him alone
Unhonour'd 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 sole exclusive of Heaven!
Oh, man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debas'd by slavery, or corrupt by power,
Who knows thee well, must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye! who, perchance, behold this single Urn
Pass on--it none you wish to mourn:
To mark a Friend's remains these stones arise,
I never knew but one, and here he lies.
Newstead Abbey, November 30,1808
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 BOATSWAIN, A DOG WHO WAS BORN AT NEWFOUNDLAND, MAY 1803, AND DIED AT
NEWSTEAD ABBEY, NOVEMBER 18, 1808.