The Goat And The Horse

: Literary Fables Of Yriarte

A Goat, in mute delight,

To the sweet echoes of a violin,

Harmonious, long stood listening;

His feet, the while, in sympathetic measure,

Danced all unconsciously for pleasure.

And, to an honest Nag, who, in like mood

Absorbed, forgot his food,

These words he spoke:

"Now, of these strings you hear the harmony,

Know that they are the entrails
of a Goat,

Who pastured, in times past, with me.

And, for myself, I trust some future time--

Blest thought!--such sonorous strains may rise from mine."

The good Hack turned himself, and answered thus:

"Never are heard these sounds harmonious,

Except, across the strings concordant, sweep

The hairs that from my tail were drawn.

My fright is over and the pain is gone;

And, as reward, I now the pleasure reap

Of seeing, for myself, the honors paid

To the sweet instrument, through my own aid.

For you, who hope like pleasure to derive,--

When shall you taste it? Not while you're alive.

* * * * *

Just so, in vain a wretched writer tries,

Throughout his life, to gain celebrity;

To better judgment of posterity

He leaves his work, and, thus consoled, he dies.