28 septiembre 2014

Lord Byron y su perro

Lord Byron (1788-1824) tenía un perro Terranova al que amaba llamado Boatswain (contramaestre), que murió de rabia y fue enterrado, con un monumento mayor que el otorgado posteriormente a su amo quien murió a los 36 años. 

La inscripción es del poema de Byron 'Epitafio para un perro'.

"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
    B O A T S W A I N,  a  D O G
who was born at Newfoundland May 1803
and died at Newstead Nov. 18, 1808".

"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 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 behold perchance this simple urn,
Pass on – it honours none you wish to mourn.
To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one -- and here he lies."

"Aquí reposan los restos
de una criatura
que fue bella sin vanidad
fuerte sin insolencia,
valiente sin ferocidad,
y tuvo todas las virtudes del hombre
y ninguno de sus defectos".

"Esta alabanza, que sería una adulación sin sentido
Escrita sobre cenizas humanas,
No es más que un justo homenaje a la memoria de
"B O A T S W A I N", un P E R R O
Quien nació en Terranova,
En mayo de 1803,
Y murió en la abadía de Newstead
el 18 de noviembre 1808".

Monumento a Boatswain en Newstead Abbey en Nottinghamshire, UK.