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The Tea-plant And Sage

from Literary Fables Of Yriarte





From China, once, the Tea-plant coming,
Met with the Sage upon his way.
"Friend,"--said the latter,--"whither roaming?"

"For Europe, where for me they pay
A generous price,"--quoth Tea,--"I'm bound."

"And I,"--said Sage,--"to China's market go;
Where I am held in reverence profound
For beverage or for medicine, you know.
In Europe no good fortune waits on me;
A worthless herb, not comparable to thee,
But quite too common there--to shine.
I to your home am sent, and you to mine.
Good luck attend you to my native shore!
For never yet was any nation known,
But gold and praises will profusely pour
On foreign products, while it slights its own."

* * * * *

This sarcasm some abatement may admit,
For varying fancies are the soul of trade;
But, of the comment, application fit,
In literary borrowings, may be made.
For what, in general, doth good service render,
In special cases sometimes proves a blunder.

Now, I am sure that I can Spaniards show,
Who will eternally be quoting
Whole pages out of Tasso or Boileau;
Yet never think or care to know
What language Garcilaso wrote in.





Next: The Cat The Lizard And The Cricket

Previous: The Two Inns



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