The Linnet And The Swan





"Keep silence, noisy little one,"

Unto a Linnet said the Swan.

"It almost tempts myself to sing; although

No voice, our feathered tribes among,

Compares with mine in melody, you know."



The Linnet still maintained her joyous trill.

"What insolence is this!" continued he.

"See how this tiny warbler taunteth me!

Naught but my great consideration

Prevents your well-deserved humiliation,

By the display of my superior skill."



"Would you might sing!" replied the little bird;

"With boundless curiosity we all--

All other voice by silent wonder shackled--

Should listen to that harmony divine,

Which boasts far greater fame than mine;

Though none of us, as yet, hath ever heard."

Kashly the Swan essayed--but only cackled.



* * * * *



Not strange, that empty reputation,

Without, or skill or genius, at foundation,

Should, upon trial, cheat the expectation!





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