If what old story says of Aesop's true, The oracle of Greece he was, And more than Areopagus he knew, With all its wisdom in the laws. The following tale gives but a sample Of what has made his fame so ample.
A bachelor caressed his cat, A darling, fair, and delicate; So deep in love, he thought her mew The sweetest voice he ever knew. By prayers, and tears, and magic art, The man got Fate to take his part;
The peacock to the queen of heaven Complained in some such words: "Great goddess, you have given To me, the laughing-stock of birds, A voice which fills, by taste quite just, All nature with disgust;
The bird of Jove bore off a mutton, A raven being witness. That weaker bird, but equal glutton, Not doubting of his fitness To do the same with ease, And bent his taste to please,
Once in his bed deep mused the hare, (What else but muse could he do there?) And soon by gloom was much afflicted;— To gloom the creature's much addicted. "Alas! these constitutions nervous," He cried, "how wretchedly they serve us!
To an astrologer who fell Plump to the bottom of a well, "Poor blockhead!" cried a passer-by, "Not see your feet, and read the sky?" This upshot of a story will suffice To give a useful hint to most;
To show to all your kindness, it behoves: There's none so small but you his aid may need. I quote two fables for this weighty creed, Which either of them fully proves. From underneath the sward A rat, quite off his guard,
A man, whom I shall call an ass-eteer, His sceptre like some Roman emperor bearing, Drove on two coursers of protracted ear, The one, with sponges laden, briskly faring; The other lifting legs As if he trod on eggs,