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FABLE  XXXVII.
The Farmer's Wife and the Raven.
1 Why are those tears? Why droops your head?
2 Is then your other husband dead?
3 Or does a worse disgrace betide?
4 Hath no one since his death apply'd?
5 Alas! you know the cause too well.
6 The salt is spilt, to me it fell.[Page 125]
7 Then to contribute to my loss,
8 My knife and fork were laid across,
9 On Friday too! the day I dread!
10 Would I were safe at home in bed!
11 Last night (I vow to Heav'n 'tis true)
12 Bounce from the fire a coffin flew.
13 Next post some fatal news shall tell.
14 God send my Cornish friends be well!
15 Unhappy widow, cease thy tears,
16 Nor feel affliction in thy fears;
17 Let not thy stomach be suspended,
18 Eat now, and weep when dinner's ended,
19 And when the butler clears the table
20 For thy dissert I'll read my fable.
21 Betwixt her swagging pannier's load
22 A Farmer's wife to market rode,
23 And, jogging on, with thoughtful care
24 Summ'd up the profits of her ware;
25 When, starting from her silver dream,
26 Thus far and wide was heard her scream.
27 That raven on yon left-hand oak
28 (Curse on his ill-betiding croak)
29 Bodes me no good. No more she said,
30 When poor blind Ball with stumbling tread
31 Fell prone; o'erturn'd the pannier lay,
32 And her mash'd eggs bestrow'd the way.
33 She, sprawling in the yellow road,
34 Rail'd, swore and curst. Thou croaking toad,
35 A murrain take thy whoreson throat!
36 I knew misfortune in the note.
37 Dame, quoth the Raven, spare your oaths,
38 Unclench your fist, and wipe your cloaths.
39 But why on me those curses thrown?
40 Goody, the fault was all your own;
41 For had you laid this brittle ware
42 On Dun, the old sure-footed mare,
43 Though all the ravens of the Hunderd
44 With croaking had your tongue out-thunder'd,
45 Sure-footed Dun had kept her legs,
46 And you, good woman, sav'd your eggs.
About this text
Author: John Gay
Text view / Document view
Gay, John, 1685-1732. FABLES. By Mr. GAY. London: Printed for J. Tonson and J. Watts, MDCCXXVII., 1727, pp. 124-126. ,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  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  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. ()