Perros famosos III · El epitafio de “Boatswain”, el perro de Lord Byron

Epitafio de Lord Byron a su perro "Boatswain"

Lord Byron, aristócrata y poeta romántico inglés, amó profundamente a sus perros y a otros  animales que le acompañaron en su residencia palaciega en Inglaterra y durante sus viajes por Europa. Vio en ellos reflejado la máxima expresión de la  pureza, la generosidad, la lealtad y el afecto que ofrece la vida.

Éste es el epitafio que escribió a su perro. Puede verse en la tumba que le dedicó en Newstead Abbey, la villa que poseía por herencia familiar.

He aquí su texto íntegro en inglés  y no vamos a estropearlo traduciendolo a la lengua cervantina. Qué lo disfrutéis, los conocedores del inglés, que seguro que ya sois muchos, y si podéis meditar acerca de él :


Near this Spot
are deposited the Remains of one
who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferosity,
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
who was born in Newfoundland May 1803
and died at Newstead Nov. 18, 1808.

When some proud Son of Man returns to Earth,
Unknown by Glory, but upheld by Birth,
The sculptor’s art exhausts the pomp of woe,
And storied urns record who rests 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,
Unhonoured 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.

Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power –
Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
Thy tongue hypocrisy, thy heart deceit!
By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
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.

Un terranova como "Boatswain" ejecutando una labor de rescate

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