FABLE  XXIV.
The Butterfly and the Snail.
1 All upstarts, insolent in place,
2 Remind us of their vulgar race.
3 As, in the sun-shine of the morn,
4 A Butterfly (but newly born)
5 Sate proudly perking on a rose;
6 With pert conceit his bosom glows,[Page 82]
7 His wings (all glorious to behold)
8 Bedropt with azure, jet and gold,
9 Wide he displays; the spangled dew
10 Reflects his eyes and various hue.
11 His now forgotten friend, a Snail,
12 Beneath his house, with slimy trail
13 Crawles o'er the grass; whom when he spys,
14 In wrath he to the gard'ner crys:
15 What means yon peasant's daily toil,
16 From choaking weeds to rid the soil?
17 Why wake you to the morning's care?
18 Why with new arts correct the year?
19 Why glows the peach with crimson hue?
20 And why the plum's inviting blue?
21 Were they to feast his taste design'd,
22 That vermine of voracious kind?
23 Crush then the slow, the pilfring race,
24 So purge thy garden from disgrace.
25 What arrogance! the Snail reply'd;
26 How insolent is upstart pride![Page 83]
27 Hadst thou not thus, with insult vain,
28 Provok'd my patience to complain;
29 I had conceal'd thy meaner birth,
30 Nor trac'd thee to the scum of earth.
31 For scarce nine suns have wak'd the hours,
32 To swell the fruit and paint the flowers,
33 Since I thy humbler life survey'd,
34 In base, in sordid guise array'd;
35 A hideous insect, vile, unclean,
36 You dragg'd a slow and noisome train,
37 And from your spider bowels drew
38 Foul film, and spun the dirty clue.
39 I own my humble life, good friend;
40 Snail was I born, and snail shall end.
41 And what's a butterfly? At best,
42 He's but a caterpillar, drest:
43 And all thy race (a num'rous seed)
44 Shall prove of caterpillar breed.
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. 81-83. ,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  I. The Lyon, the Tyger, and the Traveller. ()
- 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  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. ()