The Silkworm And The Caterpillar

: Literary Fables Of Yriarte

At the very same time, when the gaunt Dromedary

And Ostrich, so ugly, each other bepraised,

In terms so unmeasured and extraordinary,

That the other brutes thought them both utterly crazed,

Till the Fox told the reason, and their wonder dispelled--

In that same assembly arose a discussion

Concerning the Silkworm, artificer skilled

In producing of works of such wonderful fashion

A silken cocoon some one brought them to see;

They examine--their plaudits are hearty and loud.

And, even the Mole, though as blind as could be,

Concedes it to be a masterpiece proud.

But an old Caterpillar, who his spite could not stifle,

Muttered out of a corner, "This fuss was absurd.

Their wondrous cocoon was a pitiful trifle;

Its admirers all ninnies," he coolly averred.

The beasts at each other looked round in amaze.

"How comes it," say they, "that this creature forlorn,

What the rest of us all are uniting to praise,

He alone, wretched worm, takes upon him to scorn?"

Then up jumped sly Reynard and said, "On my soul,

'Tis easy enough the reason to show;

His mortified rancor he cannot control;

He makes cocoons too, though they 're worthless, we know."

* * * * *

Laborious Genius! when, stung by the sneer

Of the envious wretch who would rob you of glory,

The loss of your well-deserved laurels you fear,

Then take my advice and tell him this story.