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The Two Parrots And The Magpie

from Literary Fables Of Yriarte





A dame from St. Domingo
Brought with her Parrots twain.
Now this island is half Gallic,
Half owns the flag of Spain;
Thus, in two different languages,
The Parrots talked amain,
Till the gallery where their cages hung
Discordant was as Babylon.
Soon the French and the Castilian
They mixed up in such a bother
That, in the end, no soul could tell
If it were one or 't other.
The French Parrot from the Spaniard
Took a contribution small;
While the Spanish bird changed nigh each word
For the idiom of Gaul.

Their mistress parts the babblers--
And the Frenchman kept not long
The phrases he had borrowed
From less fashionable tongue.
The other still refuses
His jargon to give over;
But new merit rather chooses
In this hotchpotch to discover--
Exulting that he thus can vary
The range of his vocabulary.

In mongrel French, one day,
He eagerly begged after
The scrapings of the pot;
With hearty roar of laughter,
From balcony across the way,
A Magpie shouted out
At the folly of the lout.

The Parrot answered pertly,
As with argument conclusive,--
"You are nothing but a Purist,
Of taste foolishly exclusive."--?
"Thanks for the compliment," quoth Magpie, curtly.

* * * * *

Many men, in sooth, there are,
Like the Parrots, everywhere;
With their own language not content,
Would a mongrel tongue invent.





Next: The Showman's Monkey And His Master

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