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FABLES FOR CHILDREN,YOUNG AND OLD.
J. BILIING. PRINTEB. ASD STNBROTFPBR,WOKIN-, St -X.-
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FABLES FORCHILDREN,YOUNG AND OLD,IN HUMOROUS VERSE,BYW. EDWARDS STAITE,AUTHOR OF "THE LAYS AND LEGENDS OF NORMANDY," &c. &c." In winter's tedious nights sit by the fire,With good old folks, and let them tell thee tales."SHAKESRPARE.rconB 3Ebition, Wlit) lbbitiond.LONDON:E. CHURTON, 26, HOLLES STREET.
J. BILLING,PRINTER AID STREKOIYrER,WOWrN, bUBllY.
DEDICATION.TO CHILDREN OF ALL AGES,FROM FOUR YEARS TO FOURSCORE,tAR DEDICATED.ARE DEDICATED.
CONTENTS.PACE.THE BEARS AND THE BUFFALOES ...... 11MASTER HERBERT AND THE HONEY-BEE .. ..16THE OAK AND THE PEACOCK ...... 19THE CLOUD AND THE SUNBEAM .. 25TOM AND HARRY AND THE DONKEY .. .. 28THE SPARROW AND THE DUCKS 32THE WHEELS.. .......... 36THE LITTLE BROWN PITCHER ...... .38THE WEATHERCOCK.... .. 40THE DISOBEDIENT MOUSE ...... 42THE TALKING JAY ...... .. 46AUNT MAUD AND HER MIRRORS .. .49THE SHIP AND THE PETREL .... 52THE HUNGRY SPIDER .. .. .. 57
CONTENTS.PAceTHE PEBBLE AND THE WAVE .. .... 59THE QUACK AND THE MOUNTEBANK. ...... 65THE MONKEY AND THE JOHNNY-CROW. .. 68THE OWL IN TROUBE.. .. ........ 71GOOD MISTRESS BROWN AND THE BLANKETS .. 78THE PEDLAR'S DREAM ....... .84JACK-A-LANTERN .. .. .. .. 89THE PENNY TRUMPET.. .. .. .. .. 92THE BARBER AND HIS CUSTOMER .. .. 95THE Two TEACHERS .. .. .. .. .. 102HOW SIR ROGER KEPT CHRISTMAS .. .. 105THE PARROT WHO COMMITTED HIMSELF .. .. 116PEN, INK, AND PAPEB.. .. .. 119THE THREE PALMERS .. .. .. .... 122
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.A PREFACE, like a fable, should be all " pointand pith."APROPOS. I thank the Press and the Public forthe highly gratifying notice my small book hasexcited, and for the consequences thereof,-andI commend certain new fables,-to be found alittle further on-(not forgetting the old ones)-to the indulgent and affectionate consideration ofall those " children" to whom this volume isspecially " dedicated."THE AUTHOR.London, 1848.
PREFACE.TO THOSE OF A LARGER GROWTH.ALL over the world, and in all ages, fables havebeen keenly relished by old and young; and it maybe doubted whether any other species of compo-sition ever acquired equal popularity.From the time of Jotham's parable ot "theTrees and the Bramble, "-to be found in the Bookof Judges, and the earliest fable on record,-tothose of AEsop and Phbdrus, with La Fontaine,Florian, Fenelon, Gay, Dodsley, Lessing, Cowper
8 TO THOSE OF A LARGER GROWTH.and others of more modern date, they have beenresorted to as vehicles of instruction, and have sel-dom failed in making a lasting impression; oftenacquiring a hold upon the affections of the young,rarely to be found loosened in age. The fairy-tales of our youth are remembered when thehomilies of sages are forgotten.Fables are of Eastern origin, probably Hindoo,though this is warmly contested by the Persians,who claim their invention. There can be nodoubt, that several of those known as 2Esop'swere merely collections made by that eminentwit and philosopher from different nations, chieflyfrom oral tradition, and were not, therefore,strictly speaking, original compositions; but outof the two hundred and ninety-seven bearinghis name, it is not known how many were ori-
TO THOSE OF A LARGER GROWTH.9ginal and how many borrowed, and never willbe. Many of the apologues, also,'of the otherdistinguished fabulists alluded to, are close trans-lations from AEsop, with occasional additions oftheir own, not the less worthy, on this account,of the extended popularity they enjoy.If any defence of fictitious story, as a mediumfor the development of Truth, were needed, weshould find one in the example of HIM who" spake in parables," and who was wont to ex-tract from familiar objects around him, lessonsof wisdom and experience, as well as instructionwarning and reproof.In adding this humble volume of Fables tothe general stock, I have only to observe theywere written solely with a view to the amuse-ment of my own " children," but I have been
10 TO THOSE OF A LARGER GROWTH.induced to give them to the world, in the hopethat they may be as productive of entertainmentin the families of others, as they have been in myown.W. EDWARDS STAITE.London, 1847.
I wi~~~~~IH !;, R AEIE4BRS AM I!D T' FAI ISE
FABLES FOR CHILDREN,YOUNG AND OLD.THE BEARS AND THE BUFFALOES.ALL ABOUT IT.ONCE on a time, the story goes,Two Bears met two wild Buffaloes.The Bears had coats, rough, brown, and long,The Buffaloes, horns stout and strong,Broad chests and limbs that cleav'd the wind,And curly tails that wagg'd behind !They'd often met in that wild wood,As friends and neighbours always should,
FABLES FOR CHILDREN,To have a chat, discuss the weather,And pass a pleasant hour together !Good feeling, 'twixt the best of friends,BAD TEMPER brings to violent ends.Something that day the old Bear crost;He soon, it seems, his temper lost,-Warm disputations then began,And thus the conversation ran:-BEAR."Oh !" said the Bear, " I'd like to knowWho'd choose to be a Buffalo,-Condemn'd a vagrant life to pass,To drink cold water, dine on grass,-Unshelter'd, too, when wind and rainCome sweeping o'er the pathless plain,-No snug, warm den, or secret lair:I'd rather be a happy Bear !""And so would I," the young one grunted,"Although our friends should be affronted !"
YOUNG AND OLD.13BUFFALO.Old Buffalo then shook his hide,And thus, in language mild, replied:" We roam the boundless fields at will,And snuff the breeze on every hill,While you in sloth, forgive me, pray,Pass half the cheerful hours away.' Tis true we quaff the limpid water,While you delight in blood and slaughter;Our tastes are widely different,-soI'd rather be a Buffalo !"BEAR."That's stupid talk," the old Bear cried;" Who'd give this coat for your sleek hide ?When winter comes you'll wish you were,With all your brag, a cozy Bear !"BUFFALO."Not so," the Buffalo retorted;Then paw'd the ground, and stamp'd andsnorted,-
14FABLES FOR CHILDREN,"Say, when the Summer-heats prevail,What can you do without a tail?Just answer me that question, pray-How brush the teasing flies away ?"BEAR." Who'd have a tail," growled out the Bear," If forced such horns and humps to wear?"BUFFALO."Horns," said the Buffalo, " at least,Are neater than your paws, rude beast;And for our humps, you know they areEsteem'd as most delicious fare !"BEAR."Bah !" said the Bear: " our hams when drest,To kingly palates yield a zest."YOUNG BUFFALO."Famed for your 'grease' you mean, by fops,When hung for show in barber's shops !"
YOUNG AND OLD.15THE END OF IT.On rushed the Bears with fierce intent,With growls and roars the-air was rent!In dreadful strife they fought, and toreThe ground, all dyed with reeking gore.But how it ended I can't tell;Some say the Bears in battle fell,-Others, again, would have us fainBelieve the Buffaloes were slain,-I'll venture just this much to say,They either died, or-ran away !ILL TEMPER'S sure to breed disputes,No less 'twixt man and man than brutes,-One angry word in temper spoken,And lo the tie of years is broken!And further, too, this Fable shows,That Heaven on all some gift bestows,But jarring thoughts should ne'er prevail,'Twixt shaggy-coat and curly-tail!
16FABLES FOR CHILDREN,MASTER HERBERT AND THE HONEY-BEE.One morning, a beautiful morning in May,MASTER HERBERT was out with his sister at play,The flowers in the garden were sparkling with dew,The Birds were all singing blithe songs,as they flew,And over the hill-top and round by the wood,The warm sun was shining as hard as he could !A HONEY-BEE chanced to be passing that way;He was humming a tune, as light-hearted folksmay,When a drop of rich nectar attracted his eye,Gleaming bright in a rose that was blooming close
YOUNG AND OLD.17Quoth the Bee, " though I've plenty of sweets inmy store,I'll stop just a moment to cull this one more,'Tis no harm to be rich, so, I'll get all I can,In this I but follow the maxims of man !"Just then MASTER HERBERT espied his gold wing,And shouted with glee "what a beautiful thing !Come, sister, and help me to catch it," cried he,-His cap the next moment had knock'd down theBee!In the dust, badly wounded, half stunn'd by theblow,His treasures all scattered, and moaning with woe,The Bee cried, " alas 'twas a covetous thought,That all this disaster and trouble has brought:Had I tried not to grasp all the sweets I might see,I had not been now a poor desolate Bee !"MASTER HERBERT seiz'd hold of his elegant wing;But that instant receiv'd a most terrible sting,B
18 FABLES FOR CHILDREN,So he dropt the poor Bee, who expired in the fall,While he roar'd with the pain for an hour-that'sall!Two things may be learnt from this fable. The first,In your hearts let no covetous feelings be nurst ;-And the next-When allured by some glitteringthing,Remember, possession -may end in a sting !-
YOUNG AND OLD.19THE OAK AND THE PEACOCK.A PEACOCK one day,His fine tail to display,In a gleam of bright sunshine was struttingaway;And thus he gave ventTo his thoughts, as he went,On his top-knot so grand, and gay plumage in-tent:-"While in splendour I stalk,What a grace in my walk-I'm sure all the world of my beauty must talk-B 2
20FABLES FOR CHILDREN,No mistake! 'pon my word !I'm an exquisite bird,And my voice is the sweetest that ever was heard!""That, at least, is not true,"Cried a voice that he knew,"The Owl's is far sweeter, between me and you !"'Twas an old gnarled OAK,And he laughed as he spoke,For I fancy he thought the whole thing was a joke iMaster PEACOCK he fumed,-His fine feathers he plumed,-But the OAK laughed the louder the more heassumed," You but envy, I see,My rare merits, old tree,You have nought to be proud of, old fellow, likeme!""I do laugh at vain folk,"Said the worthy old OAK,-"For I hold that all vanity's empty as smoke,
YOUNG AND OLD.12But of pride, I confess,I have some, more or less,Though I flaunt not in feathers, gay plumes or richdress !""Just be pleas'd to explain,"Said the PEACOCK SO vain,-"How your wit can just now a distinction main-tain?"" If your tail you'll draw in,"Cried the OAK, " I'll begin ;-Pride may be a virtue, but vanity's sin.-"For some cent'ries I've stood,In this ancient wild wood,And I've seen much of evil, mayhap more of good;'Neath the shade of my limbs,In all humours and whimsYoung maids have sung carols, old moks chauntedhymns,And the birds in their nest,I have rock'd on my breast,For of all living creatures they love me the best;
22FABLES FOR CHILDREN,Young and old, great and small,I have shelter'd them all,And there's pride in my heart, while the thoughtI recall!"" I rather suspect,"Screech'd the PEACOCK erect,"On the future you like not so well to reflect,I am young, in my prime,And shall live a long time,And my beauty be heard of in every clime;You-the truth must be told-Pray excuse me, if bold,-You are looking remarkably shattered and old,-Ere the spring-blossom shoots,-Though but little it boots-YOU'LL be fell'd by the axe, or torn up by theroots !""That may be, or no,"Sigh'd the OAK,-" but I'll showThat my pride will survive when my limbs arelaid low,
YOUNG AND OLD.23On the ocean afar,Beneath Glory's bright star,I shall live to pour forth the dread thunders ofwar!And still prouder I'll be,In my strength, on the sea,To know the world's peace is dependant on me-But for you, silly loon,This is Fortune's best boon,That your feathers at last should adorn a buffoon !"The pride of good deeds,Springs from virtue's good seeds,While vanity yields but a crop of dry weeds !If with vain folks you're vext,Take these words as a text,And the homily study !-Let's see what comesnext ?Kinds of pride there are two,-One the false-one the true-
24 FABLES FOR CHILDREN,The first " haughty stomachs" do well toeschew-But the next, learn from hence,Is a sign of good sense,While Vanity's only poor Folly's pretence
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THEE CLOIUD .AND TIHE SURBEAM.
YOUNG AND OLD.25THE CLOUD AND THE SUNBEAM.I saw while gazing on the sky,A lazy CLOUD go sailing by;Just then a SUNBEAM ran to meet him,And thus, in merry strain, did greet: him,-" Good morrow,. friendL,-but tell me, pray,Where have you been so long away ?In vain I've sought you, I protest,From North to South, from East to West;I thought you'd died,-from want of breath,-Or else,-had wept yourself to death !"The SUNBEAM was a joyous creature,-The CLOUD was dark and stern in feature,
26FABLES FOR CHILDREN,And, as his oldest friends confest,A dull companion at the best !I thought he'd never look'd so gayAs when the Sunbeam pass'd that way !The CLOUD replied in sullen mood,And talk'd of " man's ingratitude-"" Look at that waving golden seaOf ripen'd corn, and think of me;Who gave through each advancing hour,The early and the latter shower ?Both night and day I labour'd hard,And what, think you, was my reward,'Twould draw e'en tears from stones to say-Man grumbled, wish'd me far away,-And yet I rais'd that crop you'll own,And thanks are due to me alone !""Well! 'pon my word !"--his friend replied,"My merits soon are cast aside;Methinks, friend CLOUD, you'd strive in vain;Without my help to raise the grain!
YOUNG AND. OLD.27For many an hour, as you well know,I did my best to make it grow,And for the last six weeks, I say,I've never left it for a day-Ask FARMER BROWN now riding by,Who has most merit-you or I ?"The Farmer heard their story through,And said, " what stupid folks be you,-With rain alone the crops don't thrive,'Tis sunshine keeps 'em all alive,But if no genial showers we get,They burn right up, for want of wet,-To both I look to bring me store,So work together as before !"If for the moral you're in doubt,Just think, you're sure to find it out
28FABLES FOR CHILDREN,TOM AND HARRY AND THE DONKEY.Now listen to the tale I tell,And I will quickly shew,What, once, two little boys befel,Who would a-riding go !.Who would a-riding go, I say,All on the village-green,Up on a donkey's back where theyBefore had never been !The donkey first,-the fact I addTo make the matter plain,-
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YOUNG AND OLD.29Up-swish'd his tail, then bray'd like mad,As though 'twere going to rain-"A sign that something's sure to fall,"Quoth HARRY, " ere the night."And when I've told my tale, you allWill say that he was right!TOM seiz'd the donkey by the mane,And tried to get astride,But HARRY pull'd him off again,HE'D be the first to ride-For HARRY boasted of his skill,On wondrous feats intent-"See how I'll gallop down the hill-"But TOM would not consent!I won't disguise, the truth I'll pen,They almost came to blows,-And how it might have ended thenOf course nobody knows-But TOM who was goodnatured, cried," 'Twas only HARRY'S whim,
30FABLES FOR CHILDREN,Why could not both together ride,And HARRY hold by him !""What ride," quoth HARRY, "perch'd right o'erThe donkey's tail Oh no !You mount behind, I'll ride before,And see the pace we'll go !"So HARRY strode the donkey's back,And TOM he followed quick,Just then some frantic ducks cried, "quack,"And made the donkey kick !He kicked-so strong, he kick'd so high,That HARRY'S heart did quail,Soon o'er his head did HARRY flyBut TOM he grasp'd the tail!It would have made you laugh to seeThe fright poor TOM was in,The donkey gallop'd, who but he,As though a race he'd win !Some hissing geese, a score or two,Were waddling o'er the green,
YOUNG AND OLD.31What think you did the donkey do ?He pitch'd TOM in between !TOM look'd as pale as any ghost,His bones so ach'd and pain'd,And HARRY, who had bragg'd the most,A bloody nose sustained !A truth this fable doth convey,Of plain import to all,-That he who loudest boasts to-day.May be the first to fall !And something it may teach besidePray fix it in your mind;-If two will on one donkey ride,Then one must ride behind !And this is tripping on my tongue,-(The sage advice will passWith equal force to old and-young,)Don't meddle with-an ass
32FABLES FOR CHILDREN,THE SPARROW AND THE DUCKS.A City-Sparrow, round and chubby,Yet looking somewhat old and grubby,And mute and songless as a quaker,And dull as any undertaker;One frosty morning, full of trouble,Sat perch'd upon a heap of stubble:He'd left his lodgings miles behind him,To see if breakfast he could find him;Hunger, we know, is sharp and trying,The snow-flakes inches deep were lyingO'er tiles and court-yards, fields and hedges,Like heaps of wool piled up in ledges
YOUNG AND OLD. 33Not from the truth to be departing,He had pickt up some crumbs at starting,Which a kind little soul who knew him,Out of a garret-window threw him!He'd liv'd for years a city-rover,Up in the chimney-pots just over,From bird-traps safe, rent-free in station,What cared he for " THE CORPORATION ?"As for the " income-tax," all knew it,He never paid a shilling to it.Most folks, with minds enlarged, not narrow,Would say he was a happy sparrow !But, no he'd liv'd for years so lonely,SELF occupied his thoughts, self only,No generous feelings entertained he,And not a flying friendship gain'd he,And age considered-most distressing,-- No kindred sparrow claim'd his blessing!I said that he was full of trouble,When perch'd upon the farmer's stubble-C
34FABLES FOR CHILDREN,Some well-fed DucKs went by just after,And almost split their sides with laughter,--That is, they quack'd both loud and jolly,To see the sparrow's melancholy,-(Some said they laugh'd with joy at knowingNo peas were in the garden growing)-While hungry, tired and discontentedThe sparrow thus his feelings vented:"Why was I born in city-quarters,And not a Duck, with sons and daughters,Think of a Duck's high birth and breeding,His pleasant pastimes, and his feeding,How gay his life while I, a moper,Am deem'd, at best, an interloper!Oh happy Ducks it pains my marrow,To know that I was born a Sparrow !"With this he hopp'd upon the palling,Still at the world and fortune railing,Repining, envious little sinner,Just as the Ducks were called to dinner
YOUNG AND OLD.35What made him in such haste to hop off,Trembling, as though his tail would drop off ?Two Ducks, with whom he'd been elated,Were seiz'd and swift decapitated,To furnish forth the farmer's table !And here, methinks, should end the fable;The moral there is no denying,Chirp'd by the sparrow, homeward flying !"'Twere wise repining thoughts to smother,And ne'er to envy one another,-As for the ills of life, all share them,Let each in calm submission bear them.Seeing, not always is believing,Appearances are so deceiving !A chimney-pot, I own this minute,If safety only reign within it,Is better far, let no one doubt it,E'en than a palace is, without it !"c 2
36FABLES FOR CHILDREN,THE WHEELS.A little WHEEL, robust and strong,That o'er the stones had roll'd along,For years, unheeded by the throng,A slave to busy labour,-One night, unburden'd thus his mind,Unto his fellow-wheel behind-'Twas said he was too much inclin'dTo rattle with his neighbour !"I ne'er by quibble or by quirk,"Cried little WHEEL, " attempt to shirk,My fair proportion of the workWhate'er may be the weather;
YOUNG AND OLD.37And yet, my station to maintain,I've always work'd as hard againAs you, in sunshine, wind or rainSince first we ran together !"His neighbour smil'd and turning roundReplied, " my little friend, 'tis found,We travel o'er the self-same ground,The daily toil, we share it,-More tired than I, you cannot be,The only difference I see,Is one of mere capacity,And you have strength to bear it !"Men are but WHEELS, of various kind,Somegreat,-somesmall,-andthisyou'llfind,Some work before, and some behind,O'er steepy ways and hollow,-Some, moving in a larger sphere,More quietly, from year to year,Than little bustling wheels, that clear,The paths which others follow i
38FABLES FOR CHILDREN,THE LITTLE BROWN PITCHER.A little brown Pitcher, that stood on a shelf,And a merry brown Pitcher was he,Though in breeding and quality nothing but delf,Was as cheerful as Pitcher could be !In good truth he was ever a comical elf,And he lov'd in a corner to talk to himself,While his cheeks shone with humour and glee !'"How happy the life that I lead, none can tell,-How I laugh at the world and its wealth,-I am never lock'd up, like gold cups, ii a cell,For no robber would take me by stealth !Near this quiet old cupboard for ever I'd dwell,While each morning, delighted, I'm sous'd in thewell,Such an excellent thing for my health !"
I'/I~~~~~~~~~i,7-",, ,l'T1EE 1ITTLE BROTW PITCAIIER.
YOUNG AND OLD.39" The little old woman, who spins all the day,When she finds nothing better to do-"You dear little Pitcher !" I've heard her oft say," I could never get on without you !"And should I be broken or crack'd, which I may,Or should mischievous school-boys e'er hide me*in play,* She would cry till her eyes were quite blue !Cheerful hearts may be found where no wealth wedescry,And a laugh is the cure of " ennui,"And the poorest on earth may be lov'd, if he try,-'Tis a moral the dullest may see !If we're lov'd for ourselves, some will mourn whenwe die,While thousands get buried without a wet eye,Nor are miss'd, as a Pitcher would be !-
40FABLES FOR CHILDREN,THE WEATHERCOCK.A WEATHERCOCK, that topp'd the steeple,The pride of all the country people,With golden crest, and tail so splendid,-It had been just re-gilt and mended-This theme of village admirationPerch'd on his giddy elevation,One day was musing and surmising,And to himself soliloquising,And looking-which I know he should not-As if he would have crow'd, but could not,-A thing, in such a situationTo bring disgrace on church and nation !I
YOUNG AND OLD.41(WHAT HE SAID.)"This world's a puzzle and a riddle,A very maze, from end to middle,-Who better than myself should know it,And who so competent to show it ?-Is there no wisdom, skill, or knowledge,But such as comes from school or college ?Experience is all a bubble,I know mankind without the trouble;I only wish I could begin it,I'd set the world right in a minute-'Tis my opinion all are equal-"The wind chopp'd round-I lost the sequel!Beware of weathercocks! well knowingThey change with every wind that's blowing!And deem not such the world's defenders,-They're only-ignorant pretenders !-
42FABLES FOR CHILDREN,THE DISOBEDIENT MOUSE.In a farm-house,A little MOUSE,-At least so runs the fable-With tail so long,Genteel and strong,And coat as soft as sable,-Liv'd in the floor,With twenty moreYoung misses and young misters,This urchin smallThe pet of allHis brothers and his sisters I
TIHEE XODI BE.B1EDIEMT [MOUSE
YOUNG AND OLD.43Beneath the planks,They play'd their pranks,Such rattling and such riot-The Farmer "vow'dHe'd clear the crowd,There was no peace or quiet:-"Now, up the wallThey'd scamper all,And underneath the thatching,-Then, scare by nightThe maids with fright,Their very bed-posts scratching ISaid FARMER GRUFF,"I've borne enough,I've stopp'd their holes with plaster,The plaguing crewThey only doMake new ones all the faster !The noisy set,I'll have 'em yet,-
44FABLES FOR CHILDREN,If nothing else can still 'em,Sure as a gun,I'll end their fun,I'll get a CAT and kill 'em !The OLD MOUSE heard,The fearful word,And quick the news up-summing,Cried, " my dears!I'm rack'd with fears,The dreadful cat is coming !Attention pay,Let all obey,My strict commands well heeding,Don't leave this nook,Nor dare to look,-I'll watch the Cat's proceeding !"Soon after that,They heard the Cat,Which set their flesh a-creeping,-And once, or more,Right through the floor,They saw her eye-balls peeping
YOUNG AND OLD.45Though Pussey purr'd,Yet no one stirr'd,Obedient to their mother;-From very fright,They pass'd the night,Piled up one on another !" I'll take one peep,-She seems to sleep,"Cried little MOUSE, next morning,Regardless quite,The silly wight,Of all his mother's warning !He scarce popp'd outHis little snout,Ere Pussey's claw was in it,'Mid squeaks and groansShe scrunch'd his bones,And ate him in a minute.
46FABLES FOR CHILDREN,THE TALKING JAY.A talking JAY,Hopp'd out one day,Some calls to payAnd pass awayHis time in idle chatter,When on a treeHe chanc'd to seeA ROOK, and heAppear'd to beQuite busy, but no matter!Straws, twigs with hooks,And waifs from brooks,
YOUNG AND OLD.47With knowing looks,A score of RooksWere building well together;So, up he flew,Said, " How dy'e do ?I'll stay with youAn hour or two,This very charming weather !Delightful spot,Friend ROOK, you've got,But is it notAt times too hot,At other times too airy ?Take all the year,I think 'tis clear,You're rougher here,I'm snugger nearThefowl-house and the dairy!'"That may be, though,Friend JAY you know,
48FABLES FOR CHILDREN,I'm busy, soI pray you, go,I have no time for reasons,-All work would stop,In house and shop,And on tree-top,Should neighbours dropIn, chatting at all seasons !"It is a crime,To steal one's Time,In any clime,-So end's my rhyme,-The moral's more than funny,Excuse is lame,You're much to blame,-' Tis oft the same,-As if you cameTo steal your neighbour's money.
YOUNG AND OLD.49AUNT MAUD AND HER MIRRORS.Aunt MAUD'S little Mirror had hung on the wall,For how many long years there's no telling,In a little back bed-room just over the hall,In Aunt MAUD'S little snug country dwelling !His little bright visage seem'd always the same,While the truth shone in every feature,And I know he was blest with as happy a frame,As e'er fell to the lot of a creature !Aunt MAUD never fail'd him a visit to pay,When the bells chimed for church, Sundaymorning,To "know if her bonnet sat straight," she wouldsay,While she this way and that way kept turning,-D
50FABLES FOR CHILDREN,Now smoothing a crease out, now shaking a fold,And then peeping right over her shoulder:-But Aunt MAUD,-'twas a secret she ne'er wouldhave told,-Every Sunday she lived grew the older !One day, not quite pleas'd, she began to upbraid;The old mirror she called " a deceiver,""You're changed very much, Sir, of late,-I'mafraid,We must part"-and the thought seem'd togrieve her."Ungrateful,-nay, more-it's quite wicked to seeHow you misrepresent me, well knowingI've strived all my life a kind creature to be,-I've half made up my mind to your going.""Dear madam," the mirror replied, " in goodsooth,It is you that are changed, not a little,My only offence lies in telling the truth,And the truth I have told to a tittle-
YOUNG AND OLD. 51If the wrinkles I see,"-but Aunt MAUD wouldno more,For these terrible words seem'd to choke her,-Unhook'd, in a rage, hewas spurn'd from her door,And ere night he was sold to a broker.Well the very next day, on the very same hook,A new mirror, gold-framed, was suspended,Aunt MAUD ran delighted to have a good look,But too soon were her feelings offended-" I see how it is," cried the lady so chid,And she shed a round tear in her sorrow,-" They don't make the mirrors as well as they did,So I'll have my old friend back to-morrow !"
52FABLES FOR CHILDREN,THE SHIP AND THE PETREL.A tight young SHIPUpon her trip,Across the Atlantic Ocean,Well pleased to beFirst time at sea,Elated with the notion,-Who ne'er had metWith storms as yet,Or heard the thunders rattleOf wind and wave,That rage and rave,When ocean goes to battle;
YOUNG AND OLD.53Began to doubtShips' words, aboutAs much as other people's,Who talk'd, in docks,Of reefs and rocks,And waves as high as steeples i"What awful talesThey've told of gales,And wrecks upon the billows,Of bulwarks crash'dAnd seamen lash'dTo masts that snapp'd like willows-They do persist,Such things exist,To one and all I answer,That I'll be boundThey'll not be found,From Capricorn to Cancer !"A lonely birdThat speech had heard,-Well vers'd in naval topics-
54FABLES FOR CHILDREN,A PETREL small,And known to allWho ever sail'd the tropics;On weary wingHe'd flown to bringThe news of storm and danger,-To all in need,A friend indeed,And thus he hail'd the stranger:"You ship ahoy iEach man and boyLet boatswain pipe together,-Aloft, below,Make snug, for knowThere comes tempestuous weather !"" Tis quite absurd,You stupid bird,I see no storm, nor fear it.""Friend ship believeI'd ne'er deceive,Just listen, and you'll hear it."
YOUNG AND OLD.55"Be off I say,Pursue your way,Nor longer dare to tarry,-Where fools do sail,Go tell your tale,Your silly warnings carry !""'Tis thus they chide,"The Petrel cried," All messengers of sadness,"And while he spoke,The tempest broke,And lash'd the sea to madness !The sails in shredsWere torn to threads,The ship roll'd gunwale under,Crack'd shroud and spar,In that wild war,Of elemental thunder!And there she lay,A night and day,A log upon the water,
56FABLES FOR CHILDRENBut liv'd to ownWith many a groan,The lesson it had taught her !The sea of Life-A sea of strife-Though sunny be the morning,You may be wrecktEre you suspect,-Ne'er spurn a friendly warning!Take in all sail,Before the gale,-No moral can be sounder,--And then be sureYou'll ride secure,Though other barques should founder
YOUNG AND OLD.57THE HUNGRY SPIDER.IN a dark dingy hole sat a SPIDER one day,Where as fierce as an ogre he watch'd for his prey;Very hungry, quite famish'd, he waited a prize,While his mouth water'd, thinking of tender youngflies !A BLUEBOTTLE chanced to be out for a stroll,And a better-drest fly was ne'er seen on the whole," What a glorious feast," cried the Spider, " if ICan by any means catch that great Bluebottle-fly !"So he nodded and smiled and then said, "Howdy'e do ?"Just to scrape an acquaintance,-the fly noddedtoo ;-
58FABLES FOR CHILDREN," 'Tis remarkably hot," said the Spider, " and yetWe should always be thankful, 'tis better than wet,Won't you step in and rest yourself out of the heat,'Tis so pleasant when friends and acquaintancesmeet ?"" It won't do," said the Bluebottle, looking quitewise," Your manceuvres may answer with very youngflies,-But I'm not to be caught by soft speeches you see,So I wish you good day-you don't dine upon me."The world's full of SPIDERS that watch for theirprey,And thoughtless young FLIES often fall in theirway,But if all were BLUEBOTTLES,-I'll answer for this,The world would be wiser by far than it is.
YOUNG AND OLD.59THE PEBBLE AND THE WAVE.WHILE on the soft sea-sands reclined,Strange thoughts revolving in my mind,A PEBBLE at my feet began,To talk and reason thus of MAN.-" Poor Mortal! destin'd from thy birth,To plough the deep, or till the earth,To toil and labour day by day,Till all thy strength has ebb'd away,-Uncertain, changeful as the wave,By turns a tyrant and a slave--Thy joys but shadows at the best,-Pleasure, a waking dream unblest,-
60FABLES FOR CHILDREN,In short, the world itself, I wot,Is but a gloomy, cheerless spot,-Go ask yon murmuring WAVE, for he,Is but a type, poor wretch, of thee !"" In this," replied the WAVE, " good sooth,The PEBBLE partly speaks the truth;I am the type of mortal man,And have been, since the world began,But all the points he hath not told,To make the full resemblance hold:Just let us see, on truth intent,How stands the PEBBLE'S argument ?If aught it mean, it means just this,Man's life is not a life of bliss,And, like a misanthropic stone,He fain would prove it by mine own !"I've spent a long and checquer'd life,Sometimes in sunshine, oft in strife,-I've travell'd round the world, and more,I've studied man on every shore ;-
YOUNG AND OLD.61I've seen, within the polar zone,The Frost-King on his icy throne;And India's golden strand I know,Whereon the verdant palm-trees grow;The Austral isles, and rich Peru,And Afric's plains and mountains blue;And every land that lies between,Sometime or other I have seen !And think you, in a life like this,I knew no pleasure, felt no bliss ?""'Twas pleasure through the live-long day,To float the good ship on her way,-'Twas bliss to see, while roared the blast,The dangerous reef in safety past,For my wild voice alone could showWhere lurk'd the treacherous rocks below!I've learnt, untaught by scroll or book,On the bright side of things to look,And in the darkest, stormiest night,To trust the coming morning-light I
62FABLES FOR CHILDREN,'Tis thus my life has pass'd away,In pleasures varied as the day,And MAN, like me, if trustful, wise,May make this world a Paradise !""Humph !" said the PEBBLE on the beach,"'Tis easy work to prate and preach,I see no joy in all that's doneBeneath the circuit of the sun !"The WAVE seem'd ruffled for awhile,But soon resumed his wonted smile," The task is hard, I freely own,To reason with a heart of stone,-Yet all have duties here on earth,Whate'er their station or their birth,And duties, to the good and wise,Are but sweet pleasures in disguise,-Each man's existence may be stillA life of pleasure, if he will !"" Then die at last! be seen no more,Just like a wave upon the shore,
YOUNG AND OLD.63So far," the PEBBLE cried, " at leastMan is no happier than the beast !""To die ah yes," the WAVE replied,While his calm bosom heav'd and sigh'd,-" When in the beams of summer-day,Exhaled, my life-breath hastes away,Each drop shall shine, a liquid gem,In Heaven's ethereal diadem !'Tis then the goal of life we win,Our purest pleasures then begin;-This boon of Heaven e'en man might crave,To die, as dies the summer-wave IFrom this 'tis clear, a life well-spentIn active duty, brings content,And blissful feeling, day by day,Whate'er the scoffing world may say.-And turn this over in your mind,All things have uses well-design'd,Even a Pebble, in a sling,We know deliver'd Israel's king;
64 FABLES FOR CHILDREN,I'd rather pave a stable-yard,Than be from useful life debarr'd,For idle souls, in every land,Are but as pebbles on the sand!
YOUNG AND OLD65THE QUACK AND THE MOUNTEBANK.A QUACK, of impudent pretensions,Dealer in poisonous inventions,Whose salves, elixirs, pills, and plasters,Were antidotes for all disasters;One day was mounted on his rostrum,Puffing the virtues of each nostrum-The showers of half-pence round him falling,Shew'd 'twas a profitable calling !" These life-pills extirpate the ague,Cramps and rheumatics, when they plague you,-See here," and drawing back the curtain,"I've plenty left,-the cure is certain-E2
66FABLES FOR CHILDREN,You'll never die-(I know, who make 'em,)As long as you're alive to take 'em !This famed elixir causes peopleTo live as long as a church steeple-'Twas mix'd by learned eastern sages,Two bottles, and you'll live for ages!This salve, (each packet is a penny,Pull out your cash if you have any)Would turn old wooden legs, though deal ones,If rubb'd in long enough, to real ones!"The market-people laughed to hear him,And ever and anon did cheer him,While clodpole, stupe, and country-cousin,Purchased his rubbish by the dozen !A MOUNTEBANK, whose droll grimaces,Brought grins on all their sun-brown faces-(A Fool they called him, but his folly,At least, could banish melancholy)-Started a show in opposition,And charged a penny for admission
YOUNG AND OLD.67Expert in every mime and antic,The people roar'd 'till they were frantic-Now he would jabber like a monkey,Then bray like any sand-boy's donkey,-Crow like a cock in summer weather-Hop like a frog, all fours together-Ducks, geese, cats, dogs, things great and little,He imitated to a tittle:In short, he was a comic creature,In trick, in figure and in feature !"Well!" said a melancholy drover,Soon as the funny show was over,(Giving the pills a furious kick, sir,Smashing his bottle of elixir,)" One laugh does more to cure the phthisic,Than twenty donkey-loads of physic !"
68FABLES FOR CHILDREN,THE MONKEY AND THE JOHNNY-CROW.A JOHNNY-CROW, as black as jet-A greater thief one never met,-A bird of peculating mind,Who took whatever he could find,Wheat, grubs or worms, (he was not nice,)He'd seize and swallow in a trice:A rogue in short, beyond all law,With an insatiate greedy maw,Whatever thing was good to eat,He stole, from barley up to meat!This JOHNNY-CROW was caught one day,And punished in a novel way-Such warnings every body knows,Are quite as good for men as crows,
YOUNG AND OLD.69And so to make my story out,I'll tell you how it came about.A grizzled MONKEY, lean and hairy,In disposition, sly and wary,Had oft his breakfast missed of late,'Twas gone again his knowing pateHe scratch'd, resolved to find who did it,-Some one had stolen it, or hid it !JACKO the JOHNNY-CROW suspected,The petty larceny detected,His first resolve was this-to slay him,But no a trick he'd rather play him,Yet how to do it -was the riddle,Strapt with the chain about his middle ?JACKO soon hit upon a plan,I'll tell it shortly as I can!JACKO next morn, with rigid tail,Lay stretch'd as dead as a door-nail-That is, he feign'd to be no more,The CROW came hopping as before,
70FABLES FOR CHILDREN,Looking around him, sly and queer,To ascertain the coast was clear !The tempting bait he eyed askance,"JACKO was dead-a lucky chance-He'd take his time and feed at leisure,To eat in haste, destroys all pleasure !"Pecking his tail with savage beak,That almost made the MONKEY squeak,He hopp'd within his chain quite bold-What follow'd after soon is told !Up JACKO jump'd and seiz'd his leg,The CROW for life began to begSo hard, that JACKO with delight,Jabber'd and grinn'd with all his might-In vain he struggled to get free,The MONKEY louder screech'd with glee-In vain he strove to bite or kick him,JACKO had quite resolv'd to pick him,And pick'd quite clean, in frosty weather,Was JOHNNY-CROW, of every feather!
YOUNG AND OLD.71THE OWL IN TROUBLE.A WORTHY OWL who'd pass'd his daysIn ease and independance,-Whose open, hospitable ways,Had gained him universal praiseFrom neighbours and attendants,This good old bird,-who ne'er had done,-(From motives pure not double)-An unkind act to any oneThe golden sun e'er shone upon,-Got plunged in care and trouble.One winter's night, as black as pitch,While in his tower abiding,
72 FABLES FOR CHILDREN,O'er wood and fen, field, wold and ditch,A storm broke loose, as though some WitchHer broomstick was bestriding.O how it raged and blew for hours,Strong trees were rent asunder;-His home amid the old church-towers,Torn by the furious wild wind's powers,Fell with a crash like thunder.All that his prudence had stored up,His foresight got together,Even his wherewithal to sup,(Misfortune fills a bitter cup)Were lost in that wild weather !A strong reflecting mind, 'tis true,Will not succumb to sorrow,-So having wept, a tear or two,He felt less puzzled what to do,Or where assistance borrow!"I've lost my house, my stores, my all,I'm ruined, that a fact is,
YOUNG AND OLD.73But I've firm friends on whom I'll callAt once, and tell them of my fall,And put their love in practice-They'll be too glad, I'm sure of that,To help a friend, true-hearted,"-So firmly knocking on his hat,Intending to rouse up "friend BAT,"The worthy OWL departed.While on his way to Barny Park,-'Twas there the BATS resided,-He heard, enchanted, what ? but hark !A sweet voice singing in the dark,Kind words that sorrow chided-"The heart that mourns not other's woe"On this the song insisted--" Is colder than the winter's snow,Such hearts no generous feelings know,I would they ne'er existed !"" 'Tis LAY NIGHTINGALE I'll stayAnd tell her all about it,-
74FABLES FOR CHILDREN,At many a ball and soir6e gay,We've danced the midnight hour away,She'll grieve,-'twere base to doubt it."-With that, his features somewhat pale,The lady's bower he entered,"Alas I bring a dismal tale,I'm ruin'd, LADY NIGHTINGALE,"-The OWL no further ventured.And why ?-she said, "what's that to me ?"All confidence concluding-"I'm quite astonished, sir, to see,You so forget proprietyTo be thus late intruding !If for my sentiments you seek,Though very wise reputed-I never liked you, so to speak,I'd quite made up my mind, last week,To cut you-when it suited !"Fancy the worthy OWL'S surprise,For years her " dearest neighbour !"
YOUNG AND OLD.75A tear-drop glistened in his eyes,"How frail," he cried, " are worldly ties,How fruitless friendship's labour !My friends the BATS, they'll be so shock'd,Such hollow hearts despising "-Soon at their well-known door he knock'd,'Twas bolted, barr'd and double lock'd,A fact at first surprising.He knock'd, and knock'd and knock'd again,Each " rat-tat-tat," the louder,-But all his efforts were in vain,They would not hear him, that was plain,His proud heart swelled the prouder-"These are my friends," he cried at last," Who've feasted at my table,E'en from their doors I'm spurn'd and cast,Well! the delusive dream is past,I'll bear it as I'm able !"That worthy Owl-I knew him well,-Grew rich, but not ambitious,
76 FABLES FOR CHILDREN,His rare fine qualities to tell,Would much too long the fable swell,Kind fortune was propitious !New towers arose, in splendid stateRebuilt by good churchwarden,The envy of the BATS,-whosefate,This brave OWL did commiserate,Which showed how he could pardon.These BATS, burnt out of house and home,No lot could well be harder,Forced for a supper- miles to roamThis worthy OWL, he bade them comeAnd share his tower and larder !And LADY NIGHTINGALE, poor soul!(For death a corpse did make her,-Burnt at the BATS' as black as coal,)He wept upon her grave, and drollHe paid the undertaker
YOUNG AND OLD. 77REFLECTIONS.Wisdom, I ween, is small defence,'Gainst perils and disasters,Let courage, self-respect, good sense,Exert their potent influenceThen Care has many masters!To this old " saw" the story tends,The wise it won't surprise them-"Prosperity, makes many friends,Adversity, it tries them 1"
78FABLES FOR CHILDREN,GOOD MISTRESS BROWN AND THE BLANKETS.I must tell you a story of " good Mistress BROWN,"A dear lady who lived in an old country town,Much considered and liked by her neighbours,and more,Very highly beloved by the sick and the poor!She was one of those kind-hearted generous soulsWho, in winter, make presents of blankets andcoals,Flannel-petticoats, nameless small things such asthese,To keep old women warm who would otherwisefreeze:
YOUNG AND OLD. 79There's not half as much pleasure in wearing acrown,As was-felt at such seasons, by "good MistressBROWN !"Once returning from church,-chilly cold blewthe wind,-JOHN the footman in gaiters, close creeping be-hind-The good lady enquired, turning round on her way,"If JOHN did not conceive 'twas a very cold day?"JOHN "conceived that it was,"-and the wordsmade him smile,For his teeth chattered, sitting so long in the aisle-" Since the frost has set in, JOHN, (it's really quitekeen)Take some blankets this evening to poor WIDOWLEAN,And you'll tell her, to-morrow at " one," to comeupFor some soup, and be sure that she brings alarge cup,F
80 FABLES FOR CHILDREN,It's much colder than 'twas, JOHN, I'm sure I feelthat ?"" Very much, ma'am indeed !" cried John, touch-ing his hat.The good ladywent home and she stirr'd up thefire,Till the ruddy flames mounted up higher andhigher,-JOHN drew the thick curtains to keep out theblast,And a very nice dinner he served up at last,Of which " ood Mistress BROWN," I'm delightedto tellHaving taken no lunch, ate remarkably well!And why not ? and she twice took a glass of goodwine,Doctor's orders-" two always, ma'am, two, whenyou dipe !"Then she crack'd a few nuts,--bade JOHN wheelthe setteeRather nearer the fire-she would ring for thetea,-