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.