The Panther Horse And Other Beasts

: Moores Fables For Girls

The man who seeks to win the fair,

(So custom says) must truth forbear;

Must fawn and flatter, cringe and lie,

And raise the goddess to the sky;

For truth is hateful to her ear,

A rudeness which she cannot bear--

A rudeness?--Yes,--I speak my thoughts,

For truth upbraids her with her faults.

How wretched, CHLOE, then am I,

Who love you, and yet ca
not lie;

And still, to make you less my friend,

I strive your errors to amend!

But shall the senseless fop impart

The softest passion to your heart,

While he who tells you honest truth,

And points to happiness your youth,

Determines, by his cares, his lot,

And lives neglected and forgot?

Trust me, my dear, with greater ease,

Your taste for flatt'ry I could please.

And similes in each dull line,

Like glow-worms in the dark, should shine.

What if I say your lips disclose

The freshness of the op'ning rose?

Or that your cheeks are beds of flow'rs,

Enripen'd by refreshing show'rs?

Yet certain as these flow'rs shall fade,

Time ev'ry beauty will invade.

The BUTTERFLY of various hue,

More than the flow'r, resembles you:

Fair, flutt'ring, fickle, busy thing,

To pleasure ever on the wing,

Gayly coquetting for an hour,

To die, and ne'er be thought of more.

Would you the bloom of youth should last?

'Tis virtue that must bind it fast;

An easy carriage, wholly free

From sour reserve, or levity;

Good-natur'd mirth, an open heart,

And looks unskill'd in any art;

Humility, enough to own

The frailties which a friend makes known;

And decent pride, enough to know

The worth that virtue can bestow.

These are the charms which ne'er decay,

Tho' youth and beauty fade away;

And time, which all things else removes,

Still heightens virtue and improves.

You'll frown, and ask to what intent

This blunt address to you is sent;

I'll spare the question, and confess

I'd praise you, if I lov'd you less;

But rail, be angry, or complain,

I will be rude, while you are vain.

Beneath a LION'S peaceful reign,

When beasts met friendly on the plain,

A PANTHER, of majestic port,

(The vainest female of the court)

With spotted skin, and eyes of fire,

Fill'd ev'ry bosom with desire;

Where'er she mov'd, a servile crowd

Of fawning creatures cring'd and bow'd;

Assemblies ev'ry week she held,

(Like modern belles) with coxcombs fill'd,

Where noise and nonsense, and grimace,

And lies and scandal, fill'd the place.

Behold the gay, fantastic thing,

Encircled by the spacious ring;

Low-bowing, with important look,

As first in rank, the MONKEY spoke:

"Gad take me, madam! but I swear

No angel ever look'd so fair----

Forgive my rudeness, but, I vow,

You were not quite divine till now;

Those limbs! that shape! and then those eyes,

O close them, or the gazer dies!"

'Nay, gentle PUG, for goodness hush,

I vow and swear you make me blush;

I shall be angry at this rate----

'Tis so like flatt'ry, which I hate.'

The FOX, in deeper cunning vers'd,

The beauties of her mind rehears'd,

And talk'd of knowledge, taste, and sense,

To which the fair have most pretence;

Yet well he knew them always vain

Of what they strive not to attain,

And play'd so cunningly his part,

That PUG was rival'd in his art.

The GOAT avow'd his am'rous flame,

And burnt--for what he durst not name;

Yet hop'd a meeting in the wood

Might make his meaning understood.

Half angry at the bold address,

She frown'd; but yet she must confess,

Such beauties might inflame his blood;

But still his phrase was somewhat rude.

The HOG her neatness much admir'd;

The formal ASS her swiftness fir'd;

While all to feed her folly strove,

And by their praises shar'd her love.

The HORSE, whose gen'rous heart disdain'd

Applause by servile flatt'ry gain'd,

With graceful courage silence broke,

And thus with indignation spoke:

"When flatt'ring MONKEYS fawn and prate,

They justly raise contempt, or hate;

For merit's turn'd to ridicule,

Applauded by the grinning fool.

The artful FOX your wit commends,

To lure you to his selfish ends;

From the vile flatt'rer turn away,

For knaves make friendship to betray.

Dismiss the train of fops and fools,

And learn to live by wisdom's rules.

Such beauties might the LION warm,

Did not your folly break the charm;

For who would court that lovely shape,

To be the rival of an APE?"

He said; and snorting in disdain,

Spurn'd at the crowd, and sought the plain.