Epitaph for a Dog

Here friend lies the beautiful body of the beast
Who for so many Wednesdays and without truce barked
None would paint - Whistler, Michelangelo or Goya
The horror of the Newcomer with its head at their feet.

Be clement be you Athenian of Getan1
Dear stranger it is Hercules or Freya2 that prays over it
Alas for the one who without mercy affrighted us
Less happy than Beulé3 there are no more festivities.

Whether it be the Syrinx or the Reed-pipe
Make your song resound to the honour of Gaston.4
Anxiously I take up my keening bagpipes

Because better than Germiny5, Ganderax6 or Brinquand7
This dog long eloquent in its bark
Revived the heart of cold Suzette.8

1. Scythian race.

2. Goddess of clouds, fertility and love in Norse mythology. Wagnerian heroine.

3. Charles Beulé, archaeologist and politician. Author of L'Acropole d'Athènes, Histoire de l'art grec avant Périclès.

4. Gaston de Caillavet?

5. Comte Marc Le Bêgue de Germiny, historian.

6. Louis Ganderax, director of La Revue de Paris.

7. May refer to Vincent Brinquant, father of the future wife of the duc de Polignac.

8. Suzette Lemaire.


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