FABLE  XLI.
The Owl and the Farmer.
1 An Owl of grave deport and mien,
2 Who (like the Turk) was seldom seen,
3 Within a barn had chose his station,
4 As fit for prey and contemplation:
5 Upon a beam aloft he sits,
6 And nods, and seems to think, by fits.[Page 139]
7 So have I seen a man of news
8 Or Post-boy, or Gazette peruse,
9 Smoak, nod, and talk with voice profound,
10 And fix the fate of Europe round.
11 Sheaves pil'd on sheaves hid all the floor:
12 At dawn of morn to view his store
13 The Farmer came. The hooting guest
14 His self-importance thus exprest.
15 Reason in man is meer pretence:
16 How weak, how shallow is his sense!
17 To treat with scorn the bird of night,
18 Declares his folly or his spite;
19 Then too, how partial is his praise!
20 The lark's, the linnet's chirping lays
21 To his ill-judging ears are fine;
22 And nightingales are all divine.
23 But the more knowing feather'd race
24 See wisdom stampt upon my face.
25 Whene'er to visit light I deign,
26 What flocks of fowl compose my train![Page 140]
27 Like slaves, they croud my flight behind,
28 And own me of superior kind.
29 The Farmer laugh'd, and thus reply'd.
30 Thou dull important lump of pride,
31 Dar'st thou with that harsh grating tongue
32 Depreciate birds of warbling song?
33 Indulge thy spleen. Know, men and fowl
34 Regard thee, as thou art, an owl.
35 Besides, proud blockhead, be not vain
36 Of what thou call'st thy slaves and train.
37 Few follow wisdom or her rules,
38 Fools in derision follow fools.
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. 138-140. ,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  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  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. ()