Open main menu

The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 7/Epitaph for Joseph Blacket, late Poet and Shoemaker


Stranger! behold, interred together,
The souls of learning and of leather.
Poor Joe is gone, but left his all:
You'll find his relics in a stall.
His works were neat, and often found
Well stitched, and with morocco bound.
Tread lightly—where the bard is laid—
He cannot mend the shoe he made;
Yet is he happy in his hole,
With verse immortal as his sole.
But still to business he held fast,
And stuck to Phœbus to the last.
Then who shall say so good a fellow
Was only "leather and prunella?"
For character—he did not lack it;
And if he did, 'twere shame to "Black-it."

Malta, May 16, 1811.
[First published, Lord Byron's Works, 1832, ix. 10.]

  1. [For Joseph Blacket (1786-1810), see Letters, 1898, i. 314, note 2; see, too, Poetical Works, 1898, i. 359, note 1, and 441-443, note 2. The Epitaph is of doubtful authenticity.]