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A sharp-set Fox (a wily creature)
Pass'd by that way
In search of prey;
When to his nose the smell of cheese,
No Welchman knew, or lov'd it better:
Holding the tempting prize within her bill.
But she was perch'd too high,
And Reynard could not fly :
She chose the tallest tree in all the wood,
What then could bring her down?
Nothing but flatt'ry could.
He soon the silence broke,
And thus ingenious hunger spoke:
“Oh, lovely bird,
"Whose glossy plumage oft has stirr'd
"The envy of the grove;
"Thy form was Nature's pleasing care,
"So bright a bloom, so soft an air, "All that behold must love.
66 But, if to suit a form like thine,
Thy voice be as divine;
"If both in these together meet,
"The feather'd race must own "Of all their tribe there's none,
"Of form so fair, of voice so sweet. " Who 'll then regard the linnet's note, "Or heed the lark's melodious throat? "What pensive lovers then shall dwell "With raptures on their Philomel? "The goldfinch shall his plumage hide, "The swan abate her stately pride, "And Juno's bird no more display "His various glories to the sunny day: "Then grant thy Suppliant's prayer, "And bless my longing ear
"With notes that I would die to hear!"
Flattery prevail'd, the Crow believ'd
She scream'd as if the de'el was in her; Her vanity became so strong
That, wrapt in her own frightful song,
The morsel fell quick by the place
Who seized the prey
And eat it without saying grace.
He, sneezing, cried "The day's my own,
My end's obtain❜d,
"The prize is gain'd,
"And now I'll change my note.
"Vain, foolish, cheated, Crow,
"Lend your attention now,
"Think you I took such pains,
"And spoke so well only to hear you croak? "No, 'twas the luscious bait,
"And a keen appetite to eat,
"That first inspir'd, and carried on the cheat. ""Twas hunger furnish'd hands and matter, "Flatterers must live by those they flatter; "But weep not, Crow; a tongue like mine Might turn an abler head than thine; "And though reflection may displease, "If wisely you apply your thought, "To learn the lesson I have taught,
Experience, sure, is cheaply bought,
"And richly worth a slice of cheese."
MADAME DE POMPADOUR,
MAÎTRESSE DU ROI DE FRANCE.
GRAND Dieu, je confesse mes Crimes; Je sais qu'il faut les condamner,
Qu'ils ont merité les abîmes,
Et je n'ose plus vous nommer
Helas! pourrois-je encore attendre
Puisque je suis si loin de vous,
Qui es in cælis ;