Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Sycophantic Fox and the Gullible Raven

The fox and the raven


A raven sat upon a tree,

And not a word he spoke, for

His beak contained a piece of Brie.

Or, maybe it was Roquefort.

We'll make it any kind you please --

At all events it was a cheese.

Beneath the tree's umbrageous limb

A hungry fox sat smiling;

He saw the raven watching him,

And spoke in words beguiling:

"J'admire," said he, "ton beau plumage!"

(The which was simply persiflage.)

Two things there are, no doubt you know,

To which a fox is used:

A rooster that is bound to crow,

A crow that's bound to roost;

And whichsoever he espies

He tells the most unblushing lies.

"Sweet fowl," he said, "I understand

You're more than merely natty;

I hear you sing to beat the band

And Adelina Patti.

Pray render with your liquid tongue

A bit from Gotterdammerung."

This subtle speech was aimed to please

The crow, and it succeeded;

He thought no bird in all the trees

Could sing as well as he did.

In flattery completely doused,

He gave the "Jewel Song" from Faust.

But gravitation's law, of course,

As Isaac Newton showed it,

Exerted on the cheese its force,

And elsewhere soon bestowed it.

In fact, there is no need to tell

What happened when to earth it fell.

I blush to add that when the bird

Took in the situation

He said one brief, emphatic word,

Unfit for publication.

The fox was greatly startled, but

He only sighed and answered, "Tut."

The Moral is: A fox is bound

To be a shameless sinner.

And also: When the cheese comes round

You know it's after dinner.

But (what is only known to few)

The fox is after dinner, too.

-- Guy Wetmore Carryl (1873-1904)


Isis said...

Gracias, querido Ernesto, por este poema, y por el poeta, que no conozco.

Ernesto G. said...

El poema es una fabula muy graciosa. Saludos y gracias a ti, dear queen, por la visita.