The Goose And The Swans

: Moores Fables For Girls

I hate the face, however fair,

That carries an affected air;

The lisping tone, the shape constrain'd,

The study'd look, the passion feign'd,

Are fopperies, which only tend

To injure what they strive to mend.

With what superior grace enchants

The face which NATURE'S pencil paints!

Where eyes, unexercis'd in art,

Glow with the meaning of the heart!


And easy GAIETY and WIT!

Though perfect BEAUTY be not there,

The master lines, the finish'd air,

We catch from every look delight,

And grow enamour'd at the sight;

For beauty, though we all approve,

Excites our wonder more than love;

While the agreeable strikes sure,

And gives the wounds we cannot cure.

Why then, my AMORET, this care,

That forms you, in effect, less fair?

If NATURE on your cheek bestows

A bloom that emulates the rose,

Or from some heav'nly image drew

A form APELLES never knew,

Your ill-judg'd aid will you impart,

And spoil by meretricious art?

Or had you, NATURE'S error, come

Abortive from the mother's womb,

Your forming care she still rejects,

Which only heightens her defects.

When such, of glitt'ring jewels proud,

Still press the foremost in the crowd,

At every public shew are seen,

With look awry, and aukward mien,

The gaudy dress attracts the eye,

And magnifies deformity.

NATURE may underdo her part,

But seldom wants the help of ART;

Trust her, she is your surest friend,

Nor made your form for you to mend.

A GOOSE, affected, empty, vain,

The shrillest of the cackling train,

With proud and elevated crest,

Precedence claim'd above the rest.

Says she, I laugh at human race,

Who say, geese hobble in their pace;

Look here!--the sland'rous lie detect;

Not haughty man is so erect.

That PEACOCK yonder, lord, how vain

The creature's of his gaudy train!

If both were stript, I'd pawn my word,

A GOOSE would be the finer bird.

NATURE, to hide her own defects,

Her bungled work with fin'ry decks;

Were GEESE set off with half that show,

Would men admire the PEACOCK? No.

Thus vaunting, 'cross the mead she stalks,

The cackling breed attend her walks.

The SUN shot down his noontide beams,

The SWANS were sporting in the streams;

Their snowy plumes, and stately pride,

Provoke her spleen. Why, there, she cry'd,

Again what arrogance we see!

Those creatures! how they mimic me!

Shall ev'ry fowl the waters skim,

Because we GEESE are known to swim?

Humility they soon shall learn,

And their own emptiness discern.

So saying, with extended wings,

Lightly upon the wave she springs;

Her bosom swells, she spreads her plumes,

And the SWAN'S stately crest assumes.

Contempt and mockery ensu'd,

And bursts of laughter shook the flood.

A SWAN, superior to the rest,

Sprung forth, and thus the fool address'd:

Conceited thing! elate with pride,

Thy affectation all deride;

These airs thy aukwardness impart,

And shew thee plainly as thou art.

Among thy equals of the flock,

Thou hadst escap'd the public mock.

And, as thy parts to good conduce,

Been deem'd an honest hobbling GOOSE.

Learn hence to study WISDOM'S rules;

Know, foppery's the pride of fools;

And striving NATURE to conceal,

You only her defects reveal.