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The Farmer The Spaniel And The Cat

from Moores Fables For Girls





Why knits my dear her angry brow?
What rude offence alarms you now?
I said, that DELIA'S fair; 'tis true,
But did I say she equall'd you?
Can't I another's face commend,
Or to her virtues be a friend,
But instantly your forehead lours,
As if her merit lessen'd your's?
From female envy never free,
All must be blind, because you see.

Survey the gardens, fields, and bow'rs,
The buds, the blossoms, and the flow'rs,
Then tell me where the woodbine grows
That vies in sweetness with the rose?
Or where the lily's snowy white,
That throws such beauties on the sight?
Yet folly is it to declare,
That these are neither sweet nor fair.
The crystal shines with fainter rays
Before the di'mond's brighter blaze;
And fops will say, the di'mond dies
Before the lustre of your eyes:
But I, who deal in truth, deny
That neither shine when you are by.

When zephyrs o'er the blossoms stray,
And sweets along the air convey,
Shan't I the fragrant breeze inhale,
Because you breathe a sweeter gale?

Sweet are the flow'rs that deck the field,
Sweet is the smell the blossoms yield;
Sweet is the summer gale that blows,
And sweet (though sweeter you) the rose.

Shall envy then torment your breast,
If you are lovelier than the rest?
For while I give to each her due,
By praising them I flatter you;
And praising most, I still declare
You fairest, where the rest are fair.

As at his board a FARMER sate,
Replenish'd by his homely treat,
His fav'rite SPANIEL near him stood,
And with his master shar'd the food;
The crackling bones his jaws devour'd,
His lapping tongue the trenchers scour'd;
Till, sated now, supine he lay,
And snor'd the rising fumes away.

The hungry CAT, in turn, drew near,
And humbly crav'd a servant's share;
Her modest worth the master knew,
And straight the fatt'ning morsel threw;
Enrag'd, the snarling cur awoke,
And thus, with spiteful envy, spoke:

They only claim a right to eat,
Who earn by services their meat;
Me, zeal and industry inflame,
To scour the fields, and spring the game;
Or, plunged in the wat'ry wave,
For man the wounded bird to save.
With watchful diligence I keep,
From prowling wolves, his fleecy sheep;
At home, his midnight hours secure,
And drive the robber from the door.
For this his breast with kindness glows;
For this his hand the food bestows;
And shall thy indolence impart
A warmer friendship to his heart;
That thus he robs me of my due,
To pamper such vile things as you?

I own (with meekness, PUSS reply'd)
Superior merit on your side;
Nor does my breast with envy swell,
To find it recompens'd so well;
Yet I, in what my nature can,
Contribute to the good of man.
Whose claws destroy the pilf'ring mouse?
Who drives the vermin from the house?
Or, watchful for the lab'ring swain,
From lurking rats secure the grain?
From hence, if he rewards bestow,
Why should your heart with gall o'erflow?
Why pine my happiness to see,
Since there's enough for you and me?

Thy words are just, the FARMER cry'd,
And spurn'd the snarler from his side.





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