Epitaph [poem, 29 July 1804]

[Editor: A poem published in The Sydney Gazette, and New South Wales Advertiser, 29 July 1804.]


On a Monkey that usually occupied the summit of a high post in the yard of a Gentleman in Sydney.

Beneath this behold’d spot, in death repos’d,
Lies the grim corse of one estrang’d to care;
Who chattering oft’, no secret once disclos’d,
Who liv’d a Captive — yet disdain’d a tear.

A mind possessing of peculiar mould,
Alike to him was flattery and scorn;
And tho’ unclad, protected from the cold,
For bounteous Nature’s robe had ne’er been shorn.

Devoid of talent, yet by Fate preferr’d,
He liv’d exalted, died without disgrace —
Uncensor’d too! — nor has Report been heard
T’announce the next Successor to his place.

Should the gay Coxcomb hither chance to stray,
Let sympathy provoke one kindred shrug;
And let him chatter through the wily way,
In doleful emphasis — Alas poor PUG!

The Sydney Gazette, and New South Wales Advertiser (Sydney, NSW), 29 July 1804, p. 2

Editor’s notes:
corse = (archaic) corpse

coxcomb = a foolish and conceited man, a vain dandy, a fop (may also refer to a court jester’s cap; or to the fleshy growth or crest on the top of the head of gallinaceous birds, such as chickens, pheasants, and turkeys, also spelt as “cockscomb” and often simply referred to as a “comb”)

[Editor: The third word in the first line has been transcribed as “behold’d”, although the text is somewhat unclear (it appears to read as “pehole’d”).]

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