to his highness William, Duke of Cumberland.
FABLE  I.
The Lyon, the Tyger, and the Traveller.
1 ACcept, young Prince, the moral lay,
2 And in these tales mankind survey;
3 With early virtues plant your breast,
4 The specious arts of vice detest.
5 Princes, like Beautys, from their youth
6 Are strangers to the voice of truth:
7 Learn to contemn all praise betimes;
8 For flattery's the nurse of crimes.
9 Friendship by sweet reproof is shown,
10 (A virtue never near a throne;)
11 In courts such freedom must offend,
12 There none presumes to be a friend.
13 To those of your exalted station
14 Each courtier is a dedication;
15 Must I too flatter like the rest,
16 And turn my morals to a jest?
17 The muse disdains to steal from those,
18 Who thrive in courts by fulsome prose.
19 But shall I hide your real praise,
20 Or tell you what a nation says?
21 They in your infant bosom trace
22 The virtues of your Royal race,
23 In the fair dawning of your mind
24 Discern you gen'rous, mild and kind,[Page 3]
25 They see you grieve to hear distress,
26 And pant already to redress.
27 Go on, the height of good attain,
28 Nor let a nation hope in vain.
29 For hence we justly may presage
30 The virtues of a riper age.
31 True courage shall your bosom fire,
32 And future actions own your Sire.
33 Cowards are cruel; but the brave
34 Love mercy, and delight to save.
35 A Tyger, roaming for his prey,
36 Sprung on a Trav'ler in the way;
37 The prostrate game a Lyon spys,
38 And on the greedy tyrant flys:
39 With mingled roar resounds the wood,
40 Their teeth, their claws distill with blood,
41 'Till, vanquish'd by the Lyon's strength,
42 The spotted foe extends his length.[Page 4]
43 The Man besought the shaggy lord,
44 And on his knees for life implor'd,
45 His life the gen'rous hero gave.
46 Together walking to his Cave,
47 The Lyon thus bespoke his guest.
48 What hardy beast shall dare contest
49 My matchless strength? You saw the fight,
50 And must attest my pow'r and right.
51 Forc'd to forego their native home
52 My starving slaves at distance roam,
53 Within these woods I reign alone,
54 The boundless forest is my own;
55 Bears, wolves, and all the savage brood
56 Have dy'd the regal den with blood;
57 These carcasses on either hand,
58 Those bones that whiten all the land
59 My former deeds and triumphs tell,
60 Beneath these jaws what numbers fell.
61 True, says the Man, the strength I saw
62 Might well the brutal nation awe;[Page 5]
63 But shall a monarch, brave like you,
64 Place glory in so false a view?
65 Robbers invade their neighbour's right.
66 Be lov'd. Let justice bound your might.
67 Mean are ambitious heroes boasts
68 Of wasted lands and slaughter'd hosts;
69 Pyrates their power by murders gain,
70 Wise kings by love and mercy reign;
71 To me your clemency hath shown
72 The virtue worthy of a throne;
73 Heav'n gives you power above the rest,
74 Like Heav'n to succour the distrest.
75 The case is plain, the Monarch said;
76 False glory hath my youth mis-led,
77 For beasts of prey, a servile train,
78 Have been the flatt'rers of my reign.
79 You reason well. Yet tell me, friend,
80 Did ever you in courts attend?
81 For all my fawning rogues agree
82 That human heroes rule like me.
About this text
Author: John Gay
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Gay, John, 1685-1732. FABLES. By Mr. GAY. London: Printed for J. Tonson and J. Watts, MDCCXXVII., 1727, pp. -5. ,173,p.: ill.; 4°. (ESTC T13818)
Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. 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 John Gay
- [FABLE ] INTRODUCTION TO THE FABLES. The Shepherd and the Philosopher. ()
- FABLE  II. The Spaniel and the Cameleon. ()
- FABLE  III. The Mother, the Nurse, and the Fairy. ()
- FABLE  IV. The Eagle, and the Assembly of Animals. ()
- FABLE  V. The Wild Boar and the Ram. ()
- FABLE  VI. The Miser and Plutus. ()
- FABLE  VII. The Lyon, the Fox, and the Geese. ()
- FABLE  VIII. The Lady and the Wasp. ()
- FABLE  IX. The Bull and the Mastiff. ()
- FABLE  X. The Elephant and the Bookseller. ()
- FABLE  XI. The Peacock, the Turkey, and Goose. ()
- FABLE  XII. Cupid, Hymen, and Plutus. ()
- FABLE  XIII. The tame Stag. ()
- FABLE  XIV. The Monkey who had seen the World. ()
- FABLE  XV. The Philosopher and the Pheasants. ()
- FABLE  XVI. The Pin and the Needle. ()
- FABLE  XVII. The Shepherd's Dog and the Wolf. ()
- FABLE  XVIII. The Painter who pleased No body and Every body. ()
- FABLE  XIX. The Lyon and the Cub. ()
- FABLE  XX. The Old Hen and the Cock. ()
- FABLE  XXI. The Rat-catcher and Cats. ()
- FABLE  XXII. The Goat without a beard. ()
- FABLE  XXIII. The Old Woman and her Cats. ()
- FABLE  XXIV. The Butterfly and the Snail. ()
- FABLE  XXV. The Scold and the Parrot. ()
- FABLE  XXVI. The Cur and the Mastiff. ()
- FABLE  XXVII. The Sick Man and the Angel. ()
- FABLE  XXVIII. The Persian, the Sun and the Cloud. ()
- FABLE  XXIX. The Fox at the point of death. ()
- FABLE  XXX. The Setting-dog and the Partridge. ()
- FABLE  XXXI. The Universal Apparition. ()
- FABLE  XXXII. The two Owls and the Sparrow. ()
- FABLE  XXXIII. The Courtier and Proteus. ()
- FABLE  XXXIV. The Mastiffs. ()
- FABLE  XXXV. The Barley-mow and the Dung-hill. ()
- FABLE  XXXVI. Pythagoras and the Countryman. ()
- FABLE  XXXVII. The Farmer's Wife and the Raven. ()
- FABLE  XXXVIII. The Turkey and the Ant. ()
- FABLE  XXXIX. The Father and Jupiter. ()
- FABLE  XL. The two Monkeys. ()
- FABLE  XLI. The Owl and the Farmer. ()
- FABLE  XLII. The Jugglers. ()
- FABLE  XLIII. The Council of Horses. ()
- FABLE  XLIV. The Hound and the Huntsman. ()
- FABLE  XLV. The Poet and the Rose. ()
- FABLE  XLVI. The Cur, the Horse, and the Shepherd's Dog. ()
- FABLE  XLVII. The Court of Death. ()
- FABLE  XLVIII. The Gardener and the Hog. ()
- FABLE  XLIX. The Man and the Flea. ()
- FABLE  L. The Hare and many Friends. ()