I hate that saying, old and savage, "It's nothing but a woman drowning." That's much, I say. What grief more keen should have edge Than loss of her, of all our joys the crowning? Thus much suggests the fable I am borrowing.
A lion, mourning, in his age, the wane Of might once dreaded through his wild domain, Was mocked, at last, on his throne, By subjects of his own, Strong through his weakness grown.
By gone a thousand years of war, The wearers of the fleece And wolves at last made peace; Which both appeared the better for;
A fox, almost with hunger dying, Some grapes on a trellis spying, To all appearance ripe, clad in Their tempting russet skin, Most gladly would have eat them;
The wolves are prone to play the glutton. One, at a certain feast, it's said, So stuffed himself with lamb and mutton, He seemed but little short of dead. Deep in his throat a bone stuck fast.
When Nature angrily turned out Those plagues, the spider and the gout,— "Do you see," said she, "those huts so meanly built, These palaces so grand and richly gilt? By mutual agreement fix Your choice of dwellings; or if not,
Each has his fault, to which he clings In spite of shame or fear. This apophthegm a story brings, To make its truth more clear.
A certain hollow tree Was tenanted by three. An eagle held a lofty bough, The hollow root a wild wood sow,