FABLE  XI.
The Peacock, the Turkey, and Goose.
1 In beauty faults conspicuous grow,
2 The smallest speck is seen on snow.
3 As near a barn, by hunger led,
4 A Peacock with the poultry fed;
5 All view'd him with an envious eye,
6 And mock'd his gaudy pageantry:[Page 38]
7 He, conscious of superior merit,
8 Contemns their base reviling spirit,
9 His state and dignity assumes,
10 And to the sun displays his plumes,
11 Which, like the heav'n's o'er-arching skies,
12 Are spangled with a thousand eyes;
13 The circling rays and varied light
14 At once confound their dazled sight,
15 On ev'ry tongue detraction burns,
16 And malice prompts their spleen by turns.
17 Mark, with what insolence and pride
18 The creature takes his haughty stride,
19 The Turkey crys. Can spleen contain?
20 Sure never bird was half so vain!
21 But were intrinsic merit seen,
22 We turkeys have the whiter skin.
23 From tongue to tongue they caught abuse;
24 And next was heard the hissing Goose.
25 What hideous legs! what filthy claws!
26 I scorn to censure little flaws.[Page 39]
27 Then what a horrid squawling throat!
28 Ev'n owls are frighted at the note.
29 True. Those are faults, the Peacock crys,
30 My scream, my shanks you may despise:
31 But such blind critics rail in vain.
32 What, overlook my radiant train!
33 Know, did my legs (your scorn and sport)
34 The turkey or the goose support,
35 And did ye scream with harsher sound,
36 Those faults in you had ne'er been found;
37 To all apparent beautys blind,
38 Each blemish strikes an envious mind.
39 Thus in Assemblys have I seen
40 A nymph of brightest charms and mien
41 Wake envy in each ugly face;
42 And buzzing scandal fills the place.
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. 37-39. ,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.
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- FABLE  VII. The Lyon, the Fox, and the Geese. ()
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- FABLE  IX. The Bull and the Mastiff. ()
- FABLE  X. The Elephant and the Bookseller. ()
- FABLE  XII. Cupid, Hymen, and Plutus. ()
- FABLE  XIII. The tame Stag. ()
- FABLE  XIV. The Monkey who had seen the World. ()
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- FABLE  XVI. The Pin and the Needle. ()
- FABLE  XVII. The Shepherd's Dog and the Wolf. ()
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- FABLE  XIX. The Lyon and the Cub. ()
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- 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. ()