Memorial to a Favorite Dog

Inscription upon a stone erected to the memory of a favorite dog — interred in a park in Upper Saxony

Near this low grave, now pensive and alone
I think upon the mute companion — gone — 
By instinct taught, affectionate and kind
How nearly rational was Leo’s mind!
Bold as the animal whose name he bore
As much attached as Argus was — of yore — 
The faithful servant by long trial proved
The watchful guardian of the friend he loved.
Oft in this silent unfrequented glade
With him I’ve wandered, here — where now he’s laid,
And should some lover seek this shaded spot
To whisper vows, and hopes of happiest lot
May he, while suing, watching, for a smile
Use no false arts nor the fond maid beguile — 
Let him be cautious how he steals her heart
Nor here perform the base deceiver’s part — 
But shun this chosen path, this hallowed grove
’Tis sacred to fidelity, and love!

May 1805