Tom Brown’s School Days.
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THE ANT AND THE CATERPILLAR
As an ant, of his talents
Was trotting, with consequence, over the plain,
A worm, in his progress remarkably slow,
Cried—“Bless your good worship wherever you go;
I hope your great mightiness won’t take it ill,
I pay my respects with a hearty good-will.”
With a look of contempt, and impertinent pride,
“Begone, you vile reptile,” his antship replied;
“Go—go, and lament your contemptible state,
But first—look at me—see my limbs how complete;
I guide all my motions with freedom and ease,
Run backward and forward, and turn when I please;
Of nature (grown weary) you shocking essay!
I spurn you thus from me—crawl out of my way.”
The reptile, insulted and vex’d to the soul,
Crept onwards, and hid himself close in his hole;
But nature, determined to end his distress,
Soon sent him abroad in a butterfly’s dress.
Erelong the proud ant, as repassing the road,
(Fatigued from the harvest, and tugging his load),
The beau on a violet-bank he beheld,
Whose vesture, in glory, a monarch’s excelled;
His plumage expanded—’twas rare to behold
So lovely a mixture of purple and gold.
The ant, quite amazed at a figure so gay,
Bow’d low with respect, and was trudging away.
“Stop, friend,” says the butterfly; “don’t be surprised,
I once was the reptile you spurn’d and despised;
But now I can mount, in the sunbeams I play,
While you must for ever drudge on in your way.”
[Note: Of nature (grown weary) you shocking essay = you wretched attempt (= essay) by nature, when she had grown weary.]
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OF AN ADJUDGED CASE, NOT TO BE FOUND IN
ANY OF THE BOOKS.
Between Nose and Eyes a strange
The spectacles set them unhappily wrong;
The point in dispute was, as all the world knows,
To which the said spectacles ought to belong.