The Monkey And The Magpie

: Literary Fables Of Yriarte

To her friend, the crafty Monkey,

Said a Magpie,--"If you'll go

With me unto my dwelling,

I've some pretty things to show.

For, sure you know, I've skill

A thousand things to steal.

You shall see them, if you will,

Where I my hoard conceal

In my chest." Replied her friend:

"I'll wait on you with pleasure."

So their course forthw
th they bend

To see the Magpie's treasure.

And there, my lady Magpie

Proceeded to produce,

First, an old colored garter,

Then a hoop that ladies use,--

Two petty coins, a buckle,

Of a knife a shabby handle,

A blade of broken scissors,

And a little bit of candle,

The battered tip of scabbard

Worn out in ancient war,

A scrap of gauze and half a comb,

Three pegs of a guitar,--

With an endless lot of knick-knacks,

That good for nothing were.

"What think you now, friend Monkey?

Don't you envy me my pelf?

Upon my word, no other bird

Is so wealthy as myself."

A shrewd grimace the Monkey made,

And to Magpie answered she:

"This is all an idle story,

And your wealth mere trumpery.

In your faithful chest you bury

Every petty, straggling waif;

Not that they all are worth a groat,

But because it keeps them safe.

Look at my jaws, dear gossip;

You see, beneath them here,

I have two nice snug magazines,

Or chops, if you prefer.

These I contract at pleasure,

Or expand them, when I please.

What I like, I eat at leisure,--

And the residue in these

I stow, there safely to remain

Till I shall hungry be again.

Old rags and wretched rubbish

You, foolish bird, lay by;

Sweet nuts and tender filberts,

And racy sweetmeats--I,--

Meat, and whatever else is good,

In time of need, to serve as food."

* * * * *

Shall the Monkey's lecture shrewd

To the Magpie only go?

The advice, I think, is good

For those who make a show

Of a medley incoherent,

Where no meaning is apparent.