[Page 179]

The SOW and the PEACOCK.


1 IN Days of Yore, as Authors tell,
2 When Beasts and Birds cou'd read and spell,
3 (No matter where, in Town or City,)
4 There liv'd a Swine exceeding witty,
5 And for the Beauties of her Mind,
6 Excelling all her bristl'd Kind:
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7 But yet to mortify her Pride,
8 She found at last her failing Side.
9 Philosophy she had good Store,
10 Had ponder'd Seneca all o'er;
11 Yet all Precautions useless prove
12 Against the Pow'r of mighty Love.
13 It happen'd on a sultry Day,
14 Upon her fav'rite Couch she lay:
15 'Twas a round Dunghil soft and warm,
16 O'er-shadow'd by a neighb'ring Barn,
17 When lo, her winking Eyes behold
18 A Creature with a Neck of Gold,
19 With painted Wings and gorgeous Train,
20 That sparkl'd like the starry Plain:
21 His Neck and Breast all brilliant shine
22 Against the Sun: The dazzl'd Swine,
23 Who never saw the like before,
24 Began to wonder and adore;
25 But seeing him so fair and nice,
26 She left her Dunghil in a trice,
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27 And (fond to please) the grunting Elf
28 Began to wash and prune herself,
29 And from the stinking Wave she run
30 To dry her Carcase in the Sun:
31 Then rubb'd her Sides against a Tree,
32 And now as clean as Hogs can be,
33 With cautious Air and doubtful Breast,
34 The glitt'ring Peacock thus addrest:
35 'Sir; I, a homely rural Swine,
36 'Can boast of nothing fair nor fine,
37 'No Dainties in our Troughts appear,
38 'But as you seem a Stranger here,
39 'Be pleas'd to walk into my Sty,
40 'A little Hut as plain as I;
41 'Pray venture through the humble Door;
42 'And tho' your Entertainment's poor,
43 'With me you shall be sure to find
44 'An open Heart and honest Mind;
45 'And that's a Dainty seldom found
46 'On Cedar Flow'rs and City Ground.
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47 Thus far the Sow had preach'd by rule,
48 She preach'd, alas! but to a Fool;
49 For this same Peacock (you must know)
50 Had he been Man, had been a Beau:
51 And had (like them) but mighty little
52 To say: So squirted out his Spittle.
53 And with an Air that testified,
54 He'd got at least his share of Pride,
55 He thus began: 'Why, truly now,
56 'You're very civil Mrs. Sow:
57 'But I am very clean, d'ye see?
58 'Your Sty is not a Place for me.
59 'Shou'd I go through that narrow Door,
60 'My Feathers might be soil'd or tore;
61 'Or scented with unsav'ry Fumes:
62 'And what am I without my Plumes?
63 The much offended Sow replies,
64 (And turns a-squint her narrow Eyes)
65 'Sir, you're incorrigibly vain,
66 'To value thus a shining Train;
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67 'For when the northern Wind shall blow,
68 'And send us Hail, and Sleet, and Snow;
69 'How will you save from such keen Weathers
70 'Your Merit? Sir, I mean your Feathers:
71 'As for myself: to think that I
72 'Shou'd lead an Idiot to my Sty,
73 'Or strive to make an Oaf my Friend,
74 'It makes my Bristles stand an end:
75 'But for the future when I see
76 'A Bird that much resembles thee,
77 'I'll ever take it as a Rule,
78 'The shining Case contains a Fool.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): The SOW and the PEACOCK. A FABLE.
Author: Mary Leapor
Themes: advice; moral precepts
Genres: fable
References: DMI 30824

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Source edition

Leapor, Mrs. (Mary), 1722-1746. Poems upon several occasions: By Mrs. Leapor of Brackley in Northamptonshire. London: printed: and sold by J. Roberts, 1748, pp. 179-183. 15,[5],282p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T127827; Foxon p. 413; OTA K101776.000) (Page images digitized from a copy at University of California Libraries.)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Mary Leapor