[Page 170][Page 171]
FABLE  L.
The Hare and many Friends.
1 FRiendship, like love, is but a name,
2 Unless to one you stint the flame.
3 The child, whom many fathers share,
4 Hath seldom known a father's care;
5 'Tis thus in friendships; who depend
6 On many, rarely find a friend.
7 A Hare, who, in a civil way,
8 Comply'd with ev'ry thing, like Gay,
9 Was known by all the bestial train,
10 Who haunt the wood, or graze the plain:
11 Her care was, never to offend,
12 And ev'ry creature was her friend.
13 As forth she went at early dawn
14 To taste the dew-besprinkled lawn,
15 Behind she hears the hunter's cries,
16 And from the deep-mouth'd thunder flies;
17 She starts, she stops, she pants for breath,
18 She hears the near advance of death,
19 She doubles, to mis-lead the hound,
20 And measures back her mazy round;
21 'Till, fainting in the publick way,
22 Half dead with fear she gasping lay.
23 What transport in her bosom grew,
24 When first the horse appear'd in view!
25 Let me, says she, your back ascend,
26 And owe my safety to a friend,[Page 172]
27 You know my feet betray my flight,
28 To friendship ev'ry burthen's light.
29 The horse reply'd, poor honest puss,
30 It grieves my heart to see thee thus;
31 Be comforted, relief is near;
32 For all your friends are in the rear.
33 She next the stately bull implor'd;
34 And thus reply'd the mighty lord.
35 Since ev'ry beast alive can tell
36 That I sincerely wish you well,
37 I may, without offence, pretend
38 To take the freedom of a friend;
39 Love calls me hence; a fav'rite cow
40 Expects me near yon barley mow:
41 And when a lady's in the case,
42 You know, all other things give place.
43 To leave you thus might seem unkind;
44 But see, the goat is just behind.
45 The goat remark'd her pulse was high,
46 Her languid head, her heavy eye;[Page 173]
47 My back, says he, may do you harm;
48 The sheep's at hand, and wool is warm.
49 The sheep was feeble, and complain'd,
50 His sides a load of wool sustain'd,
51 Said he was slow, confest his fears;
52 For hounds eat sheep as well as hares.
53 She now the trotting calf addrest,
54 To save from death a friend distrest.
55 Shall I, says he, of tender age,
56 In this important care engage?
57 Older and abler past you by;
58 How strong are those! how weak am I!
59 Should I presume to bear you hence,
60 Those friends of mine may take offence.
61 Excuse me then. You know my heart.
62 But dearest friends, alas, must part!
63 How shall we all lament! Adieu.
64 For see the hounds are just in view.
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. 170-173. ,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  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. ()