First Published 1808
When some proud son of man returns to
Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth,
The sculptor’s art exhausts the pomp of
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
But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first ot welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his master’s
Who labors, fights, lives, breathes for him
Unhonored falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in heaven the soul he held on
While man, vain insect! hopes to be for-
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.
Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power,
Who knows thee well must quit thee with
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship is all a cheat,
Thy smiles hypocrisy, thy words deceit!
By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush
Ye! who perchance behold this simple urn,
Pass on – it honors none you wish to mourn:
To mark a friend’s remains these stones
I never knew but one, – and here he lies.
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Link will appear as Hanson, Marilee. "Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog Poem" https://englishhistory.net/byron/poems/inscription-on-the-monument-of-a-newfoundland-dog/, March 6, 2015