The Owl And The Toad





A red Owl was sitting quietly

Up in his hole, in a hollow tree,

Where he chanced to catch the curious eye

Of a great Toad that was hopping by.



"Holloa, up there, Sir Solitary!"--

Spoke out the Toad, with accent merry,--

"Poke out your head, and let us see,

Handsome or ugly, whether you be."



"I have never set up for an elegant beau,"--

Answered the Owl to the Toad below.

"To attempt by daylight to make a great show,

Will hardly do for me--well I know.



"And for you, my good sir,--displaying your grace

So jauntily now, in the day's broad face,--

Don't you think it would far better be,

If you hid in another hole, like me?"



Alas! how few of us authors live

By the good advice the Owl doth give!

All the nonsense we write, get printed we must;

Although, to the world, it be dry as the dust.

The lesson, my comrades, is good--let us learn it

It often would be much better to burn it.

But conspicuous toads we rather would be,

Than modest owls in our own hollow tree.





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