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Catholic-Animals
THE ARK

A Publication of
THE CATHOLIC STUDY CIRCLE
FOR ANIMAL WELFARE

From The Ark No. 193 - Spring 2003

To Boatswain

In the previous issue of The Ark (page 56) was the inscription carved on
the monument erected to Lord Byron’s favourite dog. Here is the poem written by Boatswain’s grieving owner. It will strike a chord with all who have lost beloved animal companions.

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 tombs 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.
O 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 smiles hypocrisy, thy words 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 honours none you wish to mourn:
To mark a friend's remains these stones arise:
I never knew but one, and here he lies.

Lord Byron

Return to The Ark No. 193

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For questions, comments and submissions, please contact:
Deborah Jones at The Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare deborahjark@aol.com

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