John Gay

John Gay (30 June 1685 – 4 December 1732) was an English poet and dramatist and member of the Scriblerus Club. He is best remembered for The Beggar’s Opera (1728), a ballad opera. The characters, including Captain Macheath and Polly Peachum, became household names.

He had written several fables which were also very popular.

The Shepard and the Philosopher

Remote from cities dwelt a swain, Unvexed by petty cares of gain; His head was silvered, and by age He had contented grown and sage;

The Spaniel and the Cameleon

A spaniel mightily well bred, Ne'er taught to labour for his bread, But to play tricks and bear him smart, To please his lady's eyes and heart,

The wild Boar and the Ram

A sheep lay tethered, and her life Fast ebbing on the butcher's knife; The silly flock looked on with dread. A wild boar, passing them, then said:

The Miser and Plutus

The wind was high, the window shook, The miser woke with haggard look; He stalked along the silent room, He shivered at the gleam and gloom,

The Lion, the Fox, and the Gander

A lion, sick of pomp and state, Resolved his cares to delegate. Reynard was viceroy named—the crowd Of courtiers to the regent bowed;

The Lady and the Wasp

What stupid nonsense must the Beauty Endure in her diurnal duty— Buzzings and whispers from the stores Of the fatuities of bores!