[Page 127]


The Turkey and the Ant.

1 In other men we faults can spy,
2 And blame the mote that dims their eye,
3 Each little speck and blemish find,
4 To our own stronger errors blind.
5 A Turkey, tir'd of common food,
6 Forsook the barn and sought the wood,
[Page 128]
7 Behind her ran her infant train,
8 Collecting here and there a grain.
9 Draw near, my birds, the mother cries,
10 This hill delicious fare supplies;
11 Behold, the busy Negro race,
12 See, millions blacken all the place!
13 Fear not. Like me with freedom eat;
14 An ant is most delightful meat.
15 How blest, how envy'd were our life,
16 Could we but 'scape the poult'rer's knife!
17 But man, curst man on turkey preys,
18 And Christmas shortens all our days;
19 Sometimes with oysters we combine,
20 Sometimes assist the sav'ry chine.
21 From the low peasant to the lord,
22 The turkey smoaks on ev'ry board.
23 Sure men for gluttony are curst,
24 Of the sev'n deadly sins the worst.
25 An Ant, who climb'd beyond his reach,
26 Thus answer'd from the neighb'ring beech.
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27 Ere you remark another's sin,
28 Bid thy own conscience look within.
29 Controul thy more voracious bill,
30 Nor for a breakfast nations kill.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): FABLE [38] XXXVIII. The Turkey and the Ant.
Author: John Gay
Themes: animals
Genres: fable

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Source edition

Gay, John, 1685-1732. FABLES. By Mr. GAY. London: Printed for J. Tonson and J. Watts, MDCCXXVII., 1727, pp. 127-129. [14],173,[1]p.: ill.; 4°. (ESTC T13818)

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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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