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To cities and the court repair;
A fortune cannot fail thee there:
Preferment shall thy talents crown;
Believe me, Friend; I know the Town.
Sir, says the Sycophant, like you,
Of old, politer life I knew :
Like you, a courtier born and bred,
Kings lean'd their ear to what I said.
My whisper always met success;
The ladies prais'd me for address.
I knew to hit each courtier's passion,
And flatter'd ev'ry vice in fashion:
But Jove, who hates the liar's ways,
At once cut short my prosp’rous days,
And, sentenc'd to retain my nature,
Transform'd me to this crawling creature.
Doom'd to a life obscure and mean,
I wander in the sylvan scene:
For Jove the heart alone regards;
He punishes what man rewards.
How diff'rent is thy case and mine?
With men at least you sup and dine,
While I condemnd to thinnest fare,
Like those I flatter'd, feed on air.
THE MOTHER, THE NURSE, AND THE FAIRY.
Give me a son. The blessing sent,
Were ever parents more content?
How partial are their doating eyes!
No child is half so fair and wise.
Wak'd to the morning's pleasing care,
The mother rose and sought her heir.
She saw the Nur e like one possest,
With ringing hands and sobbing breast.
Sure some disaster has befell;
Speak, Nurse; I hope the boy is well.
Dear Madam, think not me to blame;
Invisible the Fairy came:
Your precious babe is hence convey'd,
And in the place a changeling laid.
Where are the father's mouth and nose ?
The mother's eyes as black as sloes ?
See, here, a shocking awkward creature,
That speaks a fool in ev'ry feature.
The woman's blind, the Mother cries;
I see wit sparkle in his eyes.
Lord, Madam, what a squinting leer!
No doubt the Fairy hath been here.
Just as she spoke, a pigmy sprite
Pops thro' the keyhole swift as light;
Perch'd on the cradle top he stands,
And thus her folly reprimands.
Whence sprung the vain conceited lie,
That we the world with fools supply ?
What, give our sprightly race away
For the dull helpless sons of Clay!
Besides, by partial fondness shown,
Like you we dote upon our own.
Where yet was ever found a mother
Who'd give her booby for another?
And should we change with human breed,
Well might we pass for fools indeed.
THE EAGLE AND THE ASSEMBLY OF ANIMALS.
s Jupiter's all-seeing eye
Survey'd the worlds beneath the sky,
From this small speck of earth were sent
Murmurs and sounds of discontent;
For ev'ry thing alive complain'd
That he the hardest life sustain'd.
Jove calls his Eagle. At the word
Before him stands the royal bird.
The bird, obedient, from heav'n's height,
Downward directs his rapid flight;
Then cited ev'ry living thing
To hear the mandates of his king.
Ungrateful Creatures ! whence arise
These murmurs which offend the Skies ?
Why this disorder ? say the cause ;
For just are Jove's eternal laws.
Let each his discontent reveal;
To yon sour Dog I first appeal.
Hard is my lot, the Hound replies ;
On what fleet nerves the Greyhound dies!
While I, with weary step and slow,
O'er plains, and vales, and mountains, go.
The morning sees my chase begun,
Nor ends it till the setting sun.
When (says the Greyhound) I pursue,
My game is lost, or caught in view;
Beyond my sight the prey's secure ;
The Hound is slow, but always sure;
And had I his sagacious scent,
Jove ne'er had heard my discontent.
The Lion crav'd the Fox's art;
The Fox the Lion's force and heart :
The Cock inplor'd the Pigeon's flight,
Whose wings were rapid, strong, and light:
The Pigeon strength of wing despis'd,
And the Cock's matchless valour priz'd
The Fishes wish'd to graze the plain,
The Beasts to skim beneath the main;
Thus envious of another's state,
Each blam'd the partial hand of Fate.
The bird of heav'n then cry'd aloud,
Jove bids disperse the murm’ring crowd:
The God rejects your idle prayers.
Would ye, rebellious Mutineers!
Entirely change your name and nature,
And be the very envy'd creature ?
What, silent all, and none consent?
Be happy, then, and learn content;
Nor imitate the restless mind,
And proud ambition of mankind.
THE WILD BOAR AND THE RAM.
Against an elm a sheep was ty’d,
The butcher's knife in blood was dy'd;
The patient flock, in silent fright,
From far beheld the horrid sight.
A savage Boar, who near them stood,
Thus mock'd to scorn the fleecy brood.
All cowards should be serv'd like you.
See, see, your murd'rer is in view:
With purple hands, and reeking knife,
He strips the skin, yet warm with life.
Your quarter'd sires, your bleeding dams,
The dying bleet of harmless lambs,
Call for revenge. O stupid race!
The heart that wants revenge is base.