The Monkey

: Literary Fables Of Yriarte

A Monkey, clothed in silk,

Will a Monkey still remain;

So says an ancient proverb,

And so say I again;

As to all, it clearly will appear,

Who listen to our fable here.

In dress of gaudy hues,

Such as harlequin would choose,

A Monkey tricked herself.

But I rather think the elf

From her master got her finery;

r else, I hardly see

How Monkey could or cloth or tailor find find--

Yet so the story goes--but never mind.

Seeing herself so gay,

She through the window sprang

Upon a roof that lay

Below, then took her way

Unto the far-off land of Tetuan.

The proverb don't say this;

But there a history is,

Which I cannot call to mind,--

For the book is very rare,---

Which doth the truth unravel

Whither she did travel;

Which to discover must have cost a world of care

But the author does not say,

And neither can I guess.

If by ship, or by the way

Of the Isthmus of Suez:

All that we know is, that she certainly went there.

Here our fine lady found

A jolly Monkey crew,--

For Monkeys there abound,--

But naked every one:

As no other style they knew

In the land of Tetuan.

Now the naked Monkeys crowd

An admiring glance to snatch;

Homage to pay they press;

And readily allowed,

To the brainless little wretch,

Wisdom and wit to match

The splendors of her dress.

And forthwith it was decided,

By general accord,

That to her should be confided,

As ruler of the horde,

A meditated foray

Far and wide about the land,

A stock of food to gather

To feed the hungry band.

So the leader new set forth

With all her subject host,

And, not alone her road,

But her wits as well, she lost.

Over mountain, moor and valley,

Forest, and ridge, and plain,

Deserts, rivers and morasses,

She dragged her wearied train.

When the day's work was over

They could scarcely move a limb;

And each exhausted rover

Decided--if again,

Through his life, in such excursion

It should be his luck to join--

That he would choose a captain

More skilled, if not so fine.

From toil and from vexation,

They learned a lesson bitter--

That fine clothing is not wisdom,

Not all things gold that glitter.

* * * * *

Now, far this side of Tetuan,

We many a Monkey see,

Who, though he wear the student's

Will still a blockhead be.