01/01/yearThe Lion and the Goats (source)

Prefer a safe and humble lot
To luxuries by danger got.
A Lion seeing from below
Goats feeding on a craggy brow,
"Come down," he says, "you here will find
Grass of a much superior kind."
We thank you for your royal care,"
Says one, "but here we better are;
The pasture if not quite so good,
In safety we can crop our food."


01/02/yearThe Lion in Love (source)

Though the Lion in love let them draw
All his teeth, and pare down every claw,
He'd no bride for his pains,
For they beat out his brains
Ere he set on his maiden a paw.


01/03/yearThe Man and the Fox (source)

A man that on his vines' and orchard's foe,
The fox, a strange affront design'd to throw,
Bandag'd its tail with tow, applied a light,
And sent it forth. Now Heaven's just oversight
Led the flame-bearer to its captor's fields.
It was the time for crops when harvest yields
A hopeful prospect of abundant share;
The man pursued, deploring wasted care,
And Ceres did not bless his threshing floor.
One should be meek, and ne'er be vexed sore.


01/04/yearThe Man That Pleased None (source)

Through the town this good Man and his Son
Strove to ride as to please every one:
Self, Son or both tried,
Then the Ass had a ride;
While the world, at their efforts, poked fun.


01/05/yearThe Mouse and The Lion (source)

A poor thing the Mouse was, and yet,
When the Lion got caught in a net,
All his strength was no use.
'Twas the poor little Mouse
Who nibbled him out of the net.


01/06/yearThe Partridge and the Cocks (source)

A partridge was put, by a man, in the yard,
Where he kept some game cocks that fought very hard.
The partridge considered his life in danger,
As he to the cocks was naught but a stranger.
But by watching, as sly as any shrewd fox,
The habits and tastes of those same old game cocks,
Soon, quite soon, he was able to discover
That foe or friend, enemy, or e'en lover,
These cocks cared not; it was their wish but to fight,
Be they ready or not, their side wrong or right.


01/07/yearThe Pike and the Herring (source)

A Pike, of ancient pedigree,
Came from his rivulet to the sea;
And with no title to be vain.
Treated the Sea-fish with disdain.
A Herring then indignant said,
"What folly has thee hither led?
Thou might'st be something in thy stream.
But here thou'lt meet with no esteem.''
Good Landlords, in your counties known.
There rest; ye're of no note in town.


01/08/yearThe Pine (source)

Some woodmen bent a forest pine to split
Into each fissure sundry wedges fit
To keep the void and render work more light.
Out groan'd the pine, "Why should I vent my spite
Against the axe which never touch'd my root,
So much as these curst wedges, mine own fruit,
Which rend me through inserted here and there!"
A fable this, intended to declare,
That not so dreadful is a stranger's blow
As wrongs which men receive from those they know.


01/09/yearThe Ram, the Stag and the Wolf (source)

The knave security who gives,
His creditors but more deceives.
A Stag once ask'd a Ram to lend
Some corn, on credit of his friend
The Wolf: The wary Ram demurr'd,
Afraid to trust in either's word.
"Bonds, notes," he says, "can little bind ye;
When pay-day comes the de'il won't find ye."


01/10/yearThe Sick Kite (source)

A Kite, long sick and like to die,
Begg'd of his mother to apply
With offerings at a neighbouring fane,
And prayers that health he might regain.
"I will," says she; "though much I fear
Little can be expected there,
From Gods their shrines so oft who see
Defrauded and defil'd by thee."


01/11/yearThe Sick Stag (source)

A stag whose lissome joints grew stiff had made
A grassy couch outside a woodland shade,
Hence ample fodder to his need he found.
Till soon, to see their neighbour, gathered round
Whole tribes of beasts (a right good neighbour he!)
Each came, and each with his supplies made free
By thoughtless nibbling, ere it sought the wood.
Thus sank, not by disease, but want of food,
A stag that scarce had yet two crow-lives told:
Had he lack'd friends, he haply had died old!"


01/12/yearThe Sow and the Wolf (source)

Put no reliance on a creature
Of savage and deceitful nature.
A Sow had laid her new-born race
Safe in a well-defended place.
A Wolf, as nurse, an offer made
The mother in the straw to aid.
" Thanks for your kindness," says the Sow,
"Your help we do not need just now;
What most obliging you can do,
Far from this quarter is to go."


01/13/yearThe Stag in The Ox Stall (source)

Safe enough lay the poor hunted Deer
In the ox-stall, with nothing to fear
From the careless-eyed men:
Till the Master came; then
There was no hiding-place for the Deer.


01/14/yearThe Two Bald Pates (source)

A Bald-Man found a comb; another
By chance came by, and call'd out, "Brother!
My share I claim;" he shews the prize;
"Fortune would favour us," he cries;
"Her bounty comes, alas, too late,
A comb is for a younger pate."
Your lives in idle projects past,
Thus, fools, you will complain at last.



01/15/yearThe Wind and The Sun (source)

The Wind and the Sun had a bet,
The wayfarers' cloak which should get:
Blew the Wind, the cloak clung;
Shone the Sun, the cloak flung
Showed the Sun had the best of it yet.


01/16/yearThe Wolf and The Lamb (source)

A Wolf, wanting lamb for his dinner,
Growled out, "Lamb, you wronged me, you sinner."
Bleated Lamb - "Nay, not true!"
Answered Wolf - "Then 't was Ewe -
Ewe or lamb, you will serve for my dinner."


01/17/yearThe Wolf and the Shepherd's Boy (source)

In wantonness a Shepherd's boy
Alarm'd the neighbours with his cry;
"The Wolf! the Wolf!" and, when they came,
Of their lost labour made his game.
At last the Wolf when there indeed,
His real cries they did not heed;
He and his flock a prey were made,
And for his lies he dearly paid.
Those who are known to have deceived,
When they speak truth, are not believ'd.


01/18/yearThe Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. (source)

The rogue is doubly vile who plies
His trade in honesty's disguise.
A Wolf a straggling Wether slew,
And round himself the sheep-skin threw.
As thus he near the sheep-fold hover'd,
He by the shepherd was discover'd;
Who knew him wolf not sheep to be,
And caught and hang'd him on a tree.


01/19/yearFortune and the Boy (source)

The improvident on fortune lay
The price they for their folly pay.
Upon the margin of a well,
Asleep a thoughtless Schoolboy fell
So sound, that Fortune passing by
Could scarcely wake him with her cry:
"For once I've sav'd thy life," says she,
"Another time more prudent be.
Yours was the fault, had you fall'n in;
Yet mine the blame had surely been."


01/20/yearHercules and the Carter. (source)

His cart bemir'd, a Carter pray'd
To Hercules to come and aid.
"Up!" says the God, "thou lazy dog,
And lift the axle from the bog;
Think'st thou Gods nothing have to do
But listen to such knaves as you?"


01/21/yearJupiter and the Cat. (source)

What vile is form'd, will vile remain.
The fairest of the purring train,
Her master's love had so much gain'd,
That he from Jupiter obtain'd
To make her woman and his wife.
When mindful of her former life,
Jove saw her leave the bridal bed,
To catch a mouse, he laughing said:
"Forms we may alter as we will,
But Nature will be Nature still."


01/22/yearThe Angler and the Little Fish. (source)

An Angler a small Salmon caught,
Who with much earnestness besought
That he would let her go: says she,
"What can you do with such as me!
Next year when grown a little bigger,
I in your bag might make a figure."
The prudent man replied, "No, no;
Into my pouch, though small, you go.
A bird in hand is better far,
Than two that in the bushes are."


01/23/yearThe Ass and the Shepherd (source)

When princes fall into disaster,
The people do but change their master.
A Shepherd, as he fed his Ass,
Saw soldiers at a distance pass,
And thus his animal address'd:
"'Tis time to fly; come, come, make haste!"
The patient beast says, "Think you, pray,
Two loads upon me they will lay?"
The man says "No." — "Then what care I!
All one to me to stay or fly."


01/24/yearThe Boaster (source)

In the house, in the market, the streets,
Everywhere he was boasting his feats;
Till one said, with a sneer,
"Let us see it done here!
What's so oft done with ease, one repeats."


01/25/yearThe Bulls and the Lion (source)

Three bulls together in one pasture grazed.
Of seizing these a lion's hopes were raised;
He thought their union all his aims would foil,
So with deep festering slanders to embroil
The friends he bent his mind. Asunder they
Became in turns the lion's easy prey.
If thou wouldst live securely to the end,
Distrust a foe but hold thou fast a friend.


01/26/yearThe Cock and the Pearl (source)

A Cock, in scratching up the ground,
A Pearl upon a dunghill found.
"How fine a thing," he sneering cries,
"For such a place! How great a prize,
For who thy lustre could restore!
A barleycorn had pleas'd me more:
Thou of no value art to me,
And I can nothing do for thee!"
To you this fable I relate
My works who falsely estimate.


01/27/yearThe Crow and the Pitcher. (source)

Patience and ingenuity
The want of natural means supply.
A thirsty Crow some water found,
But in a vessel so profound,
That with her neck at utmost stretch,
A single drop she could not reach.
Then stones she in the pitcher places,
Which to the top the water raises;
And by this innocent device
Her thirst at leisure satisfies.


01/28/yearThe Dog and The Shadow (source)

His image the Dog did not know,
Or his bone's, in the pond's painted show:
"T'other dog," so he thought,
"Has got more than he ought,"
So he snapped and his dinner saw go!


01/29/yearThe Dog in the Manger (source)

A Mastiff in a stable lay,
Couch'd on a manger full of hay.
When any thing drew near to eat,
He quickly forc'd it to retreat.
An Ox then cried, "detested creature,
How vile is thy malignant nature,
Which will not others let enjoy
That which thou never canst employ!"


01/30/yearThe Eagle and the Crow (source)

The wise well know their force to weigh,
Nor what they cannot do, essay.
A Carrion Crow an Eagle saw
Seize on a lamb with beak and claw.
Conceiving he could better do.
He pounces on a well fed ewe;
But he and not the sheep was caught;
For when to fly with it he sought
His feet entangled in the wool.
The shepherd seiz'd the helpless fool.


01/31/yearThe Famished Dogs (source)

Folly not only ne'er succeeds,
But oft to certain ruin leads.
Dogs in a stream a carcass saw:
Thinking the water off to draw,
To lap it up the idiots tried:
In the attempt they burst and died.


02/01/yearThe Fir-Tree and the Bramble (source)

A fir tree and a bramble disagreed,
For the fir alway paid to self the meed
Of praise, "I'm fine, well-grown in point of size:
And my straight top is neighbour to the skies;
'Tis I am roof of mansions, keel of ships:
So much my comeliness all trees outstrips."
To whom the bramble said, "Keep well in view
The axe, whose business is thy trunk to hew,
And saws that cut thee: haply thou'lt prefer
To be the bramble rather than the fir."


02/02/yearThe Fisher (source)

A fisher once played by a stream, being sure
That he with his music the fish could thus lure.
But never a fish could the fisher thus get
And so he was forced to rely on his net.
As the net soon was filled he then played again
And the fish in the net leapt up with each strain,
"Ah; now you dance when I play," said the old man.
"Yes," said an old fish, "when we have to, we can."
Do as you please in freedom's short hour,
For you'll do as you're bid when in a man's power.


02/03/yearThe Fox and The Grapes (source)

This Fox has a longing for grapes:
He jumps, but the bunch still escapes.
So he goes away sour;
And, 'tis said, to this hour
Declares that he's no taste for grapes.


02/04/yearThe Fox and the Leopard (source)

Vain of his variegated hide,
Thus did a Pard a Fox deride:
"Thy brush and fur of dirty red
Are frightful, honest friend," she said,
"I wonder you can bear to see
Yourself, when plac'd by side of me!"
"I little heed how looks my skin,"
Replied the Fox, "so that within,
You when occasion conies, shall find
How much superior is my mind."


02/05/yearThe Fox and The Lion (source)

The first time the Fox had a sight
Of the Lion, he 'most died of fright;
When he next met his eye,
Fox felt just a bit shy;
But the next, quite at ease and polite.


02/06/yearThe Fox and The Mosquitoes (source)

Being plagued with Mosquitoes
Said old Fox, "Pray don't send them away,
For a hungrier swarm
Would work me more harm;
I had rather the full ones should stay."


02/07/yearThe Fox and the Tragic Mask (source)

A Fox beheld a Mask - "0 rare
The headpiece, if but brains were there!"
This holds - whene'er the Fates dispense
Pomp, pow'r, and everything but sense.


02/08/yearThe Frog and The Bull (source)

Said the Frog, quite puffed up to the eyes,
"Was this Bull about me as to size?"
"Rather bigger, frog-brother."
"Puff, puff," said the other,
"A Frog is a Bull if he tries."


02/09/yearThe Frogs and the Sun (source)

On marriage of a knave of state,
Esop this fable did relate:
"Report had thro' the marshes spread,
That Sol was on the point to wed;
The croaking tribe made such a clatter,
That Jove inquir'd what was the matter.
"One Sun," a frighted Frog replies,
"Consumes us, when our lake he dries:
Then what will be our wretched fate,
Should this new couple propagate!"


02/10/yearThe Hares and the Frogs (source)

To end their days the hares made up their mind
And since they were of beasts the feeblest kind,
Timid of heart and dull in all but flight,
To hide themselves in some dark pool from light.
But as to a broad swamp they drew more near,
Upon its margin hosts of frogs appear,
Which into slimy depths affrighted leap.
As the hares paused, one said, "Your courage keep.
Let us return! To die we need not seek,
For here are others than ourselves more weak."


02/11/yearThe Herdsman's Vows (source)

A kid vowed to Jove, so might he
Find his herd, and his herd he did see
Soon, of lions the prey:
Then 'twas - "Get me away,
And a goat of the best take for free."


02/12/yearThe Housewife and her Hen (source)

A Housewife once a Hen possessed,
That every morning in her nest
Left a fine egg. Twice in the day
The Beldame wanted her to lay:
And so her nourishment increas'd.
Grown fat, to lay at all she ceas'd.


02/13/yearThe Lion and The Statue (source)

On a statue king Lion dethroned,
Showing conqueror Man, Lion frowned.
"If a Lion, you know,
Had been sculptor, he'd show
Lion rampant, and Man on the ground."


02/14/yearThe Man and the Dogs (source)

One whom a furious Dog had ript,
Threw him a sop in blood well dipt;
Which in some foolish book he found
A recipe to cure the wound.
When Esop thus, "Conceal, I pray,
From other Dogs the price you pay;
We all shall be devoured alive,
If such rewards for bites you give."
Successful crimes the bad excite,
And to worse wickedness invite.



02/15/yearThe Man and the Goose. (source)

He who on sordid gain is bent,
Oft disappoints his own intent.
A man possess'd a wond'rous Goose,
That of pure gold did eggs produce.
At once in riches to abound,
He cut her up and nothing found.


02/16/yearThe Man and the Serpent (source)

Who to the wicked aid has lent,
Will soon find reason to repent.
A Man a frozen Snake caress'd,
And plac'd, imprudent, on his breast.
Reviv'd, he stung him to the heart.
When ask'd his motive to impart;
"That all," he said, "may learn to know
No pity to the bad to show."


02/17/yearThe Married Mouse (source)

So the Mouse had Miss Lion for bride;
Very great was his joy and his pride:
But it chanced that she put
On her husband her foot,
And the weight was too much so he died.


02/18/yearThe Mountain in Labor (source)

The Mountain labor'd, groaning loud,
On which a num'rous gaping crowd
Of noodles came to see the sight,
When, lo ! a mouse was brought to light!
This tale 's for men of swagg'ring cast,
Whose threats, voluminous and vast,
With all their verse and all their prose,
Can make but little on 't, God knows.


02/19/yearThe Nurse and the Wolf (source)

A hungry Wolf once paused outside
A cottage where an infant cried,
And, listening, heard the nurse exclaim,
"Be still, you naughty child! For shame!
If you don't stop at once, I'll throw
You to the wolf outside." "Oho!"
Chuckled the Wolf, "how fortunate!
I'll stay just where I am and wait,
And soon my supper I shall get."
For all we know, he's waiting yet.


02/20/yearThe Peacock and the Crane (source)

Shun vanity; the brave and wise
Show and appearances despise.
Spreading his moons, a Peacock ey'd
A Crane with supercilious pride.
Fine are your feathers," says the Crane,
"But fixt to earth you still remain,
While, borne aloft, I wing my way
Through regions of ethereal day."


02/21/yearThe Storks and the Geese (source)

The least to carry off who have
Themselves from danger readiest save.
Some Storks and Geese a farmer found
Marauding on his new-sown ground;
The lean Storks flying straight away.
Left the fat Geese the score to pay.


02/22/yearThe Trumpeter Taken Prisoner. (source)

A Trumpeter, in battle ta'en,
Pleading for quarter, urg'd in vain,
That none he ever kill'd or wounded.
His plea by all was judg'd unfounded:
"That he who to the war excites
Is more to blame than he who fights;
That like the rest must be his lot"
And the poor Trumpeter was shot.


02/23/yearThe Tunny and the Sturgeon (source)

When falls the oppressor with the oppress'd,
The wretch's wrongs seem half redress'd.
A Sturgeon from a Tunny fled,
Who following with voracious speed,
They both were cast upon the strand.
As they lay gasping on the sand
The Sturgeon says, "My fate I bear,
Since the same lot I see thee share;
And thou who hadst design'd my death
Art forc'd thyself to yield thy breath."


02/24/yearThe Two Crabs (source)

"So awkward, so shambling a gait!"
Mrs. Crab did her daughter berate,
Who rejoined, "It is true
I am backward, but you
Needed lessons in walking quite late."


02/25/yearThe Two Wallets (source)

Jove has to man two sacks assign'd;
One hangs before and one behind;
In this our own defects we hide,
That is with other men's supplied.
Hence comes it, to our own though blind,
Another's faults we quickly find.


02/26/yearThe Viper and the File (source)

With envious tooth who others tear,
May find their bite retorted here.
A Viper in a cutler's shop,
Sought on some eatable to drop;
He bit a File; with haughty tone
Who said, "Vain fool! let me alone;
Thinks thou that he thy tooth will feel,
Who bites himself the hardest steel?"


02/27/yearThe Wolf and the Kid (source)

Cowards most insolent appear
When sure they nothing have to fear.
A Kid, within a fold high wall'd,
A Wolf thief, villain, rascal, call'd;
"I heed not what thou say'st," cried he,
"It is the wall that speaks, not thee."


02/28/yearThe Woodman and the Trees (source)

What the ill-minded ask, refuse;
Who gifts against the giver use.
One from the Trees begg'd leave to take
A piece of solid wood, to make
A handle for his axe; they granted
As much of yew-tree as he wanted.
The axe repair'd, its strokes resound;
Pine, Ash, and Poplar fall around. "
Misfortunes felt," says Oak to Beech,
"When 'tis too late, discretion teach."


02/29/yearA Fox and a Crab (source)

A Fox in search of food one day
Espied a stranded Crab that lay
Upon the beach. "What luck!" said he,
"A breakfast ready made for me!"
"The luck is yours," the Crab replied;
"Mine left me with the ebbing tide.
Had I been faithful to the sea,
I would not now your breakfast be!"


03/01/yearEsop to an Insolent Fellow (source)

Successful crimes to ruin lead.
An insolent at Esop's head
Once threw a stone. Sly Esop gave
A penny. "It is all I have,"
He said, "but yonder comes a man,
Repay you well who will and can.
Go; throw a stone at him, and see
How handsome your reward will be!"
The knave believ'd, and got his due;
Set in the stocks to public view.


03/02/yearHorse and Man (source)

When the Horse first took Man on his back,
To help him the Stag to attack,
How little his dread,
As the enemy fled,
Man would make him his slave and his hack.


03/03/yearHot and Cold (source)

When to warm his cold fingers, man blew,
And again, but to cool the hot stew;
Simple Satyr, unused
To man's ways, felt confused,
When the same mouth blew hot and cold too.


03/04/yearJove's Cask (source)

Jove in a cask all blessings pack'd and hid,
A charge for man: but first secured the lid.
Unbridled man, agog to scan the gift
And its contents, essay'd the top to lift.
Releas'd, each blessing mounted to the sky
And would not bide below, when free to fly.
Hope only tarried. Her the lid secured
When closed at last. And thus hath Hope endured
In human homes. In her sole form we see
Earnest of all the goods that then did flee.


03/05/yearKing Log and King's Stork (source)

The Frogs prayed to Jove for a king:
Not a log, but a livelier thing."
Jove sent them a Stork,
Who did royal work,
For he gobbled them up, did their king.


03/06/yearMice in Council (source)

Against Cat sat a Council of Mice.
Every Mouse came out prompt with advice,
And a bell on Cat's throat
Would have met a round vote,
Had the bell-hanger not been so nice.


03/07/yearThe Arab and the Camel (source)

An Arab having heap'd his camel's back,
Ask'd if he chose to take the upward track
Or downward; and the beast had sense to say,
"Am I cut off then from the level way?"


03/08/yearThe Ass and the Gipsies (source)

Him whom the fates to misery doom,
Disgrace pursues beyond the tomb.
Gipsies, to bear their baggage, led
An Ass, o'ercharg'd and scantly fed:
Of blows and poverty he died.
The Gipsies stript the wretch's hide,
To make a drum; which, beaten still,
Seem'd a continuance of ill.


03/09/yearThe Ass, the Ape and the Mole (source)

They who their sorrows most bemoan
May find worse miseries than their own.
An Ass his want of horns bewails;
An Ape that Apes are short of tails;
"What would you say," a Mole replies,
"Were you, like me, depriv'd of eyes?"


03/10/yearThe Bear and The Bees (source)

"Their honey I'll have when I please;
Who cares for such small things as Bees?"
Said the Bear; but the stings
Of these very small things
Left him not very much at his ease.


03/11/yearThe Bird and the Arrow (source)

The feather'd arrow in her side,
A Bird in plaintive accent cried,
''How sad it is the means to lend,
That brings us to a timeless end!"


03/12/yearThe Cock, The Ass and The Lion (source)

The Ass gave a horrible bray,
Cock crowed; Lion scampered away;
Ass judged he was scared
By the bray, and so dared
To pursue; Lion ate him they say.


03/13/yearThe Deer and The Lion (source)

From the hounds the swift Deer sped away,
To his cave, where in past times he lay
Well concealed, unaware
Of a Lion couched there,
For a spring that soon made him his prey.


03/14/yearThe Dolphins and the Crab (source)

'Twixt whales and dolphins there was difference great:
And to them came a crab to mediate.
Just as in states, if one of small renown
Should act peacemaker for each rival crown.


03/15/yearThe Eagle and the Serpent (source)

An Eagle, on the wing for prey.
Observed a Snake that sleeping lay,
And seiz'd him in her claws; the Snake
Us'd his last force revenge to take.
Dying, he writh'd his body round,
And gave his foe a mortal wound.
Tyrants will oft their ruin find
In ills for others they designed.


03/16/yearThe Faithful Dog (source)

Officious gifts may fools surprise,
But raise suspicion in the wise.
A night-thief, passing in the street,
To a House-dog presented meat.
"If this to hold my tongue you offer,"
Says Sultan, "know I scorn your proffer;
The bribes and flatt'ries of a stranger,
But warn me more to watch the danger."


03/17/yearThe Farmer's Treasure (source)

Dig deeply, my Sons! through this field!
There's a Treasure - he died: unrevealed
The spot where 'twas laid,
They dug as he bade;
And the Treasure was found in the yield.


03/18/yearThe Fly (source)

A Fly, upon a chariot pole,
Sees sandy clouds about him roll;
And, puft with self-importance, cries,
"The dust I raise obscures the skies!''


03/19/yearThe Fox and The Crow (source)

Said sly Fox to the Crow with the cheese,
"Let me hear your sweet voice, now, do please!"
And this Crow, bring weak,
Cawed the bit from her beak.
"Music charms," said the Fox, "and here's cheese."


03/20/yearThe Fuller and the Collier (source)

Let fitness guide your inclination:
Suit your companions to your station.
A Collier offer'd to receive
A Fuller, forc'd his house to leave:
"Thank you, my friend;" the Fuller said,
"But what would happen to my trade,
If what all morning I make white,
Your coal-dust must make black at night?"


03/21/yearThe Gnat and the Ox (source)

Cries to an Ox a little Gnat,
As perch'd upon his horn she sat,
"My weight fatigues you, Sir, I fear;"
Says Ox, ''I knew not thou wert there.''


03/22/yearThe Hare and The Tortoise (source)

'Twas a race between Tortoise and hare,
Puss was sure she's so much time to spare,
That she lay down to sleep,
And let old Thick-shell creep
To the winning post first! You may stare.


03/23/yearThe Hart and The Vine (source)

The Hart by the hunters pursued,
Safely hid in a Vine, till he chewed
The sweet tender green,
And, through shaking leaves seen,
He was slain by his ingratitude.


03/24/yearThe He and She Goats (source)

When the She-goats had beards obtain'd
From Jupiter, the males complain'd
Their dignity was lost: says Jove,
"This need not your displeasure move:
While you superior strength retain,
This vain appearance let them gain."
Learn hence to let another shine
In fortune's gifts: Be virtue thine.


03/25/yearThe Hen and The Fox (source)

The Hen roosted high on her perch;
Hungry Fox down below, on the search,
Coaxed her hard to descend
She replied, "Most dear friend!
I feel more secure on my perch."


03/26/yearThe Horse and the Ass (source)

He on the ground who rests his head
Sleeps of no precipice in dread.
An Ass with envying eye surveyed
A Courser in his war-parade.
Curvetting to the trumpet's sound,
With steps that scarcely touch'd the ground.
The squadrons join, the battle burns,
Stript, wounded, lame, the Horse returns.
The Ass then grateful felt, that Heav'n
To him a humbler lot had giv'n.


03/27/yearThe Lion, the Bull and the Goat (source)

Curs'd is the wretch who has the will
Without the power to do ill.
As once a Bull from Leo fled,
A Goat oppos'd his horny head.
"Out of my way, poor idiot," cries
The Bull, "if you your safety prize."
The stupid animal stood fast,
And the Bull toss'd him as he past.


03/28/yearThe Lizard (source)

'Tis said a lizard burst its back in twain
In vain attempts a dragon's size t'attain.
Hurt to thyself will be thy certain fate,
If men far higher thou shouldst imitate.


03/29/yearThe Miser and His Gold (source)

He buried his Gold in a hole.
One saw, and the treasure he stole.
Said another, "What matter?
Don't raise such a clatter,
You can still go and sit by the hole."


03/30/yearThe Monkeys (source)

Twins at each birth the female monkey bears,
Yet gives not them her love in equal shares.
For, by her illstarr'd fondness one opprest
Is kill'd with kindness in her rugged breast.
The other as a useless idiot thrown
Adrift, an outcast, thrives when left alone.
Men's natures oft are such, that friendliness
In them than hate is to be chosen less.


03/31/yearThe Mouse and the Weasel (source)

A Hungry Mouse, so very thin,
His bones stood staring through the skin,
By a small cranny forc'd his way
Into a meal-tub: night and day
He fed on the delicious meat.
Grown fat he wanted to retreat,
But found the hole too small by half;
His efforts made a Weasel laugh:
"No, no," he says, "it will not do;
As lean thou cam'st, thou lean must go."


04/01/yearThe Mouse that Fell into the Pot (source)

A mouse into a lid-less broth pot fell;
Choked with the grease and bidding life farewell,
He said, "My fill of meat and drink have I,
And all good things; 'tis time that I should die."
Thou art that dainty mouse among mankind,
If hurtful sweets are not by thee declined.


04/02/yearThe Mule (source)

A mule in lazy manger fed on hay
And, fresh with corn, began to leap and say,
Kicking his heels, "A racer is my dam,
And I for her a match in fleetness am!"
Yet with sad visage soon his course he check'd,
Constrain'd his sire the ass to recollect.


04/03/yearThe Oak and The Reed (source)

Giant Oak, in his strength and his scorn
Of the winds, by the roots was uptorn:
But slim Reeds at his side,
The fierce gale did outride,
Since, by bending, the burden was borne.


04/04/yearThe Old Woman and the Wine-Cask (source)

A Wine-Cask met a Grandam's nose;
The scent was good that from it rose;
Falernian lees there still remain'd,
Which their old odour had retain'd.
"What must," says she, "have been the wine,
That leaves a fragrance so divine!"
Who know me, here perhaps will see,
Something may be applied to me.


04/05/yearThe Ox and the Ass (source)

With a she-ass, best shift his means allow'd
A tiller yoked his only ox, and plough'd.
When these he was preparing to unyoke,
Their work being over, thus the ass bespoke
The ox: "Who carries home the old man's gear?"
"The beast whose wont it is," said he, "'tis clear."


04/06/yearThe Oxen and the Butchers (source)

Some oxen wish'd the butcher tribe to kill
Who boasted a to them destructive skill.
But when they met and now for direful fray
Whetted their horns, an ox of ancient day
Among them, who for years had borne the plough,
Said, "These at least have hands experienced, how
To kill and carve us, not to hack and hew:
But if we chance on men to slaughter new,
We shall die twice. One will not lack to fell
The ox but one perhaps to do it well."


04/07/yearThe Peacock's Complaint (source)

The Peacock considered it wrong
That he had not the nightingale's song;
So to Juno he went,
She replied, "Be content
With thy having, and hold thy fool's tongue."


04/08/yearThe Sculptor and Mercury (source)

A man had wrought a Mercury for sale
In marble. Would-be buyers did not fail.
One for a pillar (he'd just lost a son)
To buy it wish'd; for a god's statue, one.
Night came: yet it the sculptor had not sold.
So he agreed at morn again t' unfold
The statue, if they'd come. In slumber deep
He gazed on Hermes at the gates of sleep,
Who said, "Good measure of my worth you take,
Since god or corpse of me you mean to make."


04/09/yearThe Sleep of the Wicked (source)

Beneath a bower's protecting shade,
A wicked Minister was laid.
A gentle rivulet, winding round.
Murmuring, but made his sleep more sound.
"Should such a man have peaceful rest?"
Said one who long had known the pest:
"Yes," says his friend," while thus he lies,
"The world a short repose enjoys."


04/10/yearThe Sparrow and the Hare (source)

A hare being seized by an eagle most bold,
In pitiful tones his sad story told.
A foolish young sparrow hard by on a tree,
Offered no pity, but laughed in his glee.
And said to the hare: "I think it absurd.
A swift hare like you, to be caught by a bird."
Then a hawk darting down seized the poor sparrow,
And ere long was dining, in state, on her marrow,
And the hare as he drew his lingering breath,
Saw the poor little sparrow strangling in death.


04/11/yearThe Stag and the Fawn (source)

A fawn once said to a stag: "Pray tell me why
You are so frightened when a dog comes nigh.
You are larger, stronger, and fleeter than he,
So why he should frighten you I cannot see.
I am sure if the dogs knew this to be true
They certainly all would be fleeing from you."
"My friend," said the stag, "there's been many a day
I have said to myself just what you now say,
But, for all that, I am not sure I could win,
And a dog makes me want to jump from my skin."


04/12/yearThe Thief and the Pauper (source)

He to whom fortune nothing gives,
Free from the dread of robbers lives.
A Pauper as he lay in bed,
Overhearing some one in his shed
Groping and searching all about,
Something of value to take out.
Cries, ''What by day I ne'er could see,
To find by night you'll lucky be!"


04/13/yearThe Traveller (source)

The man thro' rough roads who his journey has sped,
From sunrise to evening's dim close;
Sups quickly, and calls for his candle and bed,
Impatient from toils to repose.
So, when weary and old, we have struggled our way.
Through this troublesome warfare and strife;
We are glad to lie down at the end of the day;
Old age is the bed-time of life.


04/14/yearThe Two Frogs (source)

Their marsh dried up, two Frogs set out,
For some fresh spring to look about;
They come to a deep draw-well's side:
"We here," says one, "may safe abide,
From boys and cranes and fishes free,
In plentiful security."
"Halt," cries the other, "if you please;
'Tis true we can descend with ease,
But if this spring the sun should drain,
Pray how shall we get up again?"


04/15/yearThe Two Jars (source)

"Never fear!" said the Brass to the Clay,
Of two jars that the flood bore away:
"Keep you close to my side!"
But the Porcelain replied,
"I'll be smashed if beside you I stay."


04/16/yearThe Ungrateful Wolf (source)

To the Wolf, from whose throat the Crane
Drew the bone, his long bill made it plain
He expected his fee:
Snarled Wolf - "Fiddle de dee,
Be thankful your head's out again."


04/17/yearThe Vain Jackdaw (source)

"Fine feathers," Jack thought, "make fine fowls;
I'll be envied of bats and of owls."
But the Peacock's proud eyes
Saw through his disguise,
And Jack fled the assembly of fowls.


04/18/yearThe Widow and the Sheep (source)

A widow kept at home a single sheep
Out of whose fleece a larger gain to reap
She clipp'd it rudely, press'd the shears too near
Its flesh, and kept them not from wounding clear.
The smarting sheep cried, "Do not torture me!
My blood in weight will small addition be.
Nay, mistress, nay! My flesh if you require,
To kill me quick, a practis'd butcher hire,
But if 'tis fleece and wool, not flesh, you need, Shearers will shear me, yet not make me bleed."


04/19/yearThe Wild Ass and the Lion (source)

Chase partners were the lion and wild ass:
That did in prowess, this in speed surpass:
A booty of fat beasts their hunt supplied,
Which into three the lion would divide.
"This first," said he, "as foremost, I shall take
In right of kinghood. That my equal stake
Marks as my part. And, for the hindmost lot,
'Twill cause you hurt, unless you flee, I wot."
Measure your strength, nor, with a man more strong,
To company or partnership belong.


04/20/yearThe Wolf and the Fox (source)

A hapless fox fell in a wild wolf's way
And pray'd him her old life to spare, not slay.
"I will, by Pan, I will," the wolf replied,
"If in thy next three words thou hast not lied."
"Well: first then," said she, "would we had not met!"
Next that a blind wolf had my path beset!
And third, and last," she added, "go for ever:
I trust from this day forth to meet thee never!"


04/21/yearThe Wolf and the Shepherds (source)

The powerful too oft abuse
Rights, which to others they refuse.
A prowling Wolf one evening put
His muzzle in a Shepherd's hut;
And there at table saw them seated,
To a young lamb's fat quarter treated.
"Aye, aye, 'tis very well," said he;
"Did you at such a feast find me,
The country up in arms would be."


04/22/yearThe Young Cocks (source)

Two Tanagraean cocks a fight began;
Their spirit is, 'tis said, as that of man;
Of these the beaten bird, a mass of blows,
For shame into a corner creeping goes;
The other to the housetop quickly flew,
And there in triumph flapp'd his wings and crew.
But him an eagle lifted from the roof
And bore away; his fellow gain'd a proof
That oft the wages of defeat are best,
None else remain'd the hens to interest.


04/23/yearFortune and The Boy (source)

A Boy heedless slept by the well
By Dame Fortune awaked, truth to tell,
Said she, "Hadst been drowned,
'Twould have surely been found
This by Fortune, not Folly befel."


04/24/yearHercules and The Waggoner (source)

When the God saw the Waggoner kneel,
Crying, "Hercules! Lift me my wheel
From the mud, where 'tis stuck!"
He laughed - "No such luck;
Set your shoulder yourself to the wheel."


04/25/yearThe Ass and The Enemy (source)

"Get up! Let us flee from the Foe,"
Said the Man: but the Ass said, "Why so?
Will they double my load,
Or my blows? Then, by goad
And by stirrup, I've not cause to go."


04/26/yearThe Boasting Traveller (source)

While talking with friends, a traveller of old,
Of his great achievements this story once told:
"While staying in Rhodes, far over the sea,
No athlete, in jumping could ever beat me.
I once took a jump, that each man trying hard
For the prize, could not make within a good yard,
'Tis a fact as true as you are standing there,
Were we in Rhodes ten men to it would swear."
"Why go to Rhodes to prove your story true?"
Said one: "Try here and we'll see what you do."


04/27/yearThe Cat and Venus (source)

Might his Cat be a woman, he said:
Venus changed her. The couple were wed,
But a mouse in her sight
Metamorphosed her quite,
And, for bride, a cat found he instead.


04/28/yearThe Cock and The Pearl (source)

A Rooster, while scratching for grain,
Found a Pearl. He just paused to explain
That a jewel's no good
To a fowl wanting food,
And then kicked it aside with disdain.


04/29/yearThe Crab and his Mother (source)

Said a Crab in tone irate
To her son, "Your sidelong gait
Annoys me; can you not go straight?
Said the Son, "I'll try, if you
Will show me how." What could she do?
Mother Crab went sideways too!


04/30/yearThe Crane and the Peacock (source)

To a bright-plumaged peacock smart and vain
This sharp retort fell from an ashen crane:
"Through these dull wings, whose colour you decry,
I scream aloft, in starry heights I fly.
You, cock-like, flap your wings. The tail you spread
With all its gold, is never seen o'erhead."
Rather would I in threadbare coat aspire
Than live inglorious, tho' in rich attire.


05/01/yearThe Crow and The Pitcher (source)

How the cunning old Crow got his drink
When 'twas low in the pitcher, just think!
Don't say that he spilled it!
With pebbles he filled it,
Till the water rose up to the brink.


05/02/yearThe Dog in The Manger (source)

A Cow sought a mouthful of hay;
But a Dog in the manger there lay,
And he snapped out "How now?"
When, most mildly, the Cow
Adventured a morsel to pray.


05/03/yearThe Dog in the River (source)

The churl that wants another's fare
Deserves at least to lose his share.
As through the stream a Dog convey'd
A piece of meat, he spied his shade
In the clear mirror of the flood,
And thinking it was flesh and blood,
Snapp'd to deprive him of the treat:
But mark the glutton's self-defeat,
Miss'd both another's and his own,
Both shade and substance, beef and bone.


05/04/yearThe Drover that Lost a Bull (source)

To a far forest for a bull that stray'd,
A well horn'd beast, a drover quest had made.
Then to the mountain nymphs and gods around,
Hermes and Pan, he sware, in case he found
The thief, a lamb should fall a sacrifice.
Crossing a hill, his noble bull he spies,
Feasting a lion. Then he vows in grief,
To add an ox, if he escape the thief.


05/05/yearThe Eagle and The Crow (source)

The Eagle flew off with a lamb;
Then the Crow thought to lift an old ram;
In his eaglish conceit,
The wool tangled his feet,
And the shepherd laid hold of the sham.


05/06/yearThe Fatal Courtship (source)

'Tis said the mouse that saved the lion's life
Was emboldened to ask his daughter to wife.
The lion, laughing, put mousie at ease,
And said: "I am willing, if my daughter you please.
Be seated, my friend, in her soft, cushioned chair,
While I to my daughter your wish will declare."
Miss Lion came bouncing her lover to greet,
But crushed out his life with one of her feet.
Though deeming your lot most humble and ill,
Seek not a position you never can fill.


05/07/yearThe Fir and The Bramble (source)

The Fir-tree looked down on the Bramble.
"Poor thing only able to scramble
About on the ground."
Just then an axe' sound
Made the Fir wish himself but a Bramble.


05/08/yearThe Fisherman and The Fish (source)

Prayed the Fish, as the Fisherman took
Him, a poor little mite, from his hook,
"Let me go! I'm so small."
He replied, "Not at all!
You're the biggest, perhaps, in the brook."


05/09/yearThe Fisherman Piping (source)

A fisher play'd the pipes with wondrous skill
And, hoping shoals of fish of their own will
Would to the sweet sound of his piping throng,
Let down his net and piped a tuneful song.
But when his breath was spent, his piping nought,
He cast again and fish in numbers caught.
These panting here and there ashore he spied
And as he wash'd his net thus sharply cried,
"Dance without music now! Had ye been wise,
Ye had before danced to my melodies."


05/10/yearThe Four Bulls and the Lion (source)

Once on a time four Bulls agreed
To herd together and to feed
In the same pasture. Crouched near by,
A Lion watched, but dared not try
His strength against four Bulls combined:
And so by craft he undermined
Their friendship, sowing seeds of hate
And causing them to separate
And graze in fields apart. This done,
He feasted on them one by one.


05/11/yearThe Fox and the Grapes (source)

A Fox all efforts us'd in vain,
Some tempting clusters to obtain,
Which hung too high: "Yon Grapes," says he,
Are sour; I'll wait till ripe they be."
A common tribe this fable shews,
Who what they cannot reach, abuse.


05/12/yearThe Fox and the Hedgehog (source)

A wounded Fox disabled lay;
To drive tormenting flies away
A Hedgehog offered him his aid:
"No, Sir, I thank you," Reynard said;
"Already I have borne the ill;
These of my blood have suck'd their fill;
And should we now these robbers chase,
A hungry swarm would take their place."


05/13/yearThe Fox and the Leopard (source)

A leopard was heard giving vent to his thoughts,
Expressing much pride in his beautiful spots.
A cunning old fox was standing quite near him,
And listened intently on purpose to hear him.
Speaking with dignity and raising his head,
To the boasting leopard the sly old fox said:
"Your beauty from mine is a different kind;
You're proud of your skin while I'm proud of my mind.''
It is true, very true, this fact you will find,
There's no greater beauty than that of the mind.


05/14/yearThe Fox and the Lion (source)

Men will become, by habit led,
Familiar with what most they dread.
Fox who had no lions seen,
Met one of a tremendous mien,
And trembling fled. Another day
He look'd again upon the way,
He look'd him in the face: At last
Made him a rev'rence as he past;
Accosted him; and ventur'd near,
As if there nothing was to fear.


05/15/yearThe Fox and the Mask (source)

A Fox beheld a painted head;
"What beauty without brains!" he said.
To you, this saying may apply,
Ye fools, whom fortune lifts on high.


05/16/yearThe Geese and the Cranes (source)

A flock of young geese joined with a flock of cranes
To eat the green corn, brought up by the spring rains.
A farmer who saw them devouring his corn
Frightened them away by blowing his horn.
The cranes, being light of wing, soon flew away,
Leaving the geese to stand the brunt of the fray.
"Everyone for himself" is what people say,
When, fleeing from danger, they hasten away.


05/17/yearThe Golden Eggs (source)

A golden egg, one every day,
That simpleton's Goose used to lay;
So he killed the poor thing,
Swifter fortune to bring,
And dined off his fortune that day.


05/18/yearThe Hares and The Frogs (source)

Timid Hares, from the trumpeting wind,
Fled as swift as the fear in their mind;
Till in fright from their fear,
From the green sedges near,
Leaping Frogs left their terror behind.


05/19/yearThe Hungry Dogs (source)

A stupid plan that fools project,
Not only will not take effect,
ut proves destructive in the end
To those that bungle and pretend.
Some hungry Dogs beheld an hide
Deep sunk beneath the crystal tide,
Which, that they might extract for food,
They strove to drink up all the flood;
But bursten in the desp'rate deed,
They perish'd, ere they could succeed.


05/20/yearThe Kid and the Wolf (source)

A Kid, safe in a hayloft high,
Laughed at a Wolf that happened by;
"Well," said the Wolf, "I must admit
Up there you have the best of it;
But let the Hayloft have its due,
'Tis the Loft laughs at me, not you;
If you don't think so, try your wit
Down here, and see who laughs at it!"


05/21/yearThe Lion and the Man. (source)

Lion and Man, on some pretence,
Disputed for pre-eminence.
In marble wrought, the latter show'd
A man who o'er a lion strode.
"If that be all," the beast replied,
"A lion on a man astride,
You soon assuredly would view,
The sculptor's art if lions knew."
Each nation would the rest excel,
If their own tale allow'd to tell.


05/22/yearThe Man and the Dog (source)

Torn by a Cur, a man was led
To throw the snappish thief some bread
Dipt in the blood, which, he was told,
Had been a remedy of old.
Then Esop thus: - "Forbear to show
A pack of dogs the thing you do,
Lest they should soon devour us quite,
When thus rewarded as they bite."
One wicked miscreant's success
Makes many more the trade profess.


05/23/yearThe Man and The Snake (source)

In pity he brought the poor Snake
To be warmed at his fire. A mistake!
For the ungrateful thing
Wife and children would sting.
I have known some as bad as the Snake.


05/24/yearThe Marriage of the Sun (source)

The Sun's espousals were at summer's prime;
Hence all the beasts enjoy'd a jovial time.
The frogs too led the dance in marsh and mere
Till a toad check'd them, saying, "Nought is here
To call for joy but rather grief and moan;
For if he dries each spring while yet alone,
How by this union are we not undone,
If like himself he should beget a son?"
Many o'er trifles needlessly exult,
From which too often sorrow will result.


05/25/yearThe Mountain in Labour (source)

A Mountain labouring to bring forth;
The world expects a mighty birth.
Out comes a mouse. For you this fable,
Mighty in words, in deeds unable.


05/26/yearThe Ox and the Toad (source)

An ox at water once a toadling crush'd,
Whose dam, then absent, quickly homeward rush'd
And question'd all its brethren where it was:
"Mother, 'tis dead. Before its time, alas,
Beneath the hoof of a huge quadruped
'Twas trampled down!" "Was it as large," she said,
"As this?" She tried her proper size to strain.
"Mother," cried they, "forbear! nor fume in vain
You'll rend yourself in sunder ere you rise,
Howe'er you ape it, to that monster's size."


05/27/yearThe Snake and The File (source)

A Snake, in a fix, tried a File
For a dinner. "'Tis not worth your while,"
Said the steel, "Don't mistake:
I'm accustomed to take;
To give's not the way of a File."


05/28/yearThe Trees and The Woodman (source)

The Trees ask of Man what he lacks.
"One bit, just to handle my axe?"
All he asks - well and good:
But he cuts down the wood,
So well does he handle his axe.


05/29/yearThe Trumpeter Taken Prisoner (source)

A Trumpeter, prisoner made,
Hoped his life would be spared when he said
He'd no part in the fight,
But they answered him - "Right,
But what of the music you made?"


05/30/yearThe Tunny and the Dolphin (source)

A tunny swam out into shallow water,
A dolphin pursuing eagerly sought her.
A huge ocean wave threw him on the dry laud,
No one being near him to lend him a hand.
The dolphin, per chance, by another huge wave,
Was landed beside him to share the same grave.
The tunny seeing the dolphin at his side,
Ere death closed his eyes to the dolphin he cried
"I die content, truly glad am I to see
My enemy's death blow was given by me."


05/31/yearThe Two Bags (source)

Great Jove, in his paternal care,
Has giv'n a man two Bags to bear;
That which his own default contains
Behind his back unseen remains;
But that which others' vice attests
Swags full in view before our breasts.
Hence we're inevitably blind,
Relating to the Bag behind;
But when our neighbours misdemean,
Our censures are exceeding keen.


06/01/yearThe Wolf and the Nurse (source)

A country nurse to fright her babe to peace
Said, "Wolf shall have thee, or thy cries must cease."
The wolf o'erheard, believed the scolding crone,
And stay'd in hopes to find the feast his own.
But evening came; the babe was hush'd to rest:
The wolf still gaped, with rav'ning hunger prest.
At last his hopes to utter dulness grew:
Then to his anxious helpmate he withdrew.
"How cam'st thou empty?" said she. He replied,
"Because upon a female I relied."


06/02/yearThe Woman and the Hen (source)

A certain woman had a hen which laid each day an egg.
So fine and large, she knew that she need never starve or beg,
So good a price did these eggs bring. But not content with that,
She thought the hen might lay her two, if she were doubly fat.
And so she fed her till she was as sleek as any ball,
But found she had so lazy grown, she did not lay at all.
This moral find we here. Your fortunes don't bemoan,
But when you're doing well, let well enough alone.


06/03/yearApollo and Jupiter (source)

Said the far darter to the gods on high,
"Not one can farther shoot or throw than I."
In sport great Jove Apollo's challenge took,
And quick the lots in Mars' cap Hermes shook.
Luck was with Phoebus. Soon the golden bow
And string he circles, lets the arrow go,
And shoots within the gardens of the West.
Said Jove, when the same range his feet had prest,
"Space fails me, boy. To what point can I shoot?"
Thus without shaft he won the arrow's fruit.


06/04/yearBrother and Sister (source)

Twin children: the Girl, she was plain;
The Brother was handsome and vain;
"Let him brag of his looks,"
Father said; "Mind your books!
The best beauty is bred in the brain."


06/05/yearFortune and Vice (source)

Fortune and Vice dispute one day.
Which had to punish greater sway.
Says Fortune, "At my sovereign will,
I take all good and give all ill."
"Granted," says Vice, "but without me
None can completely wretched be;
While I, alone, do all you can.
In perfect misery plunge my man."


06/06/yearHercules and Plutus (source)

The honours that are bought and sold
The brave in detestation hold.
Alcides, for his labours past,
Was into Heaven receiv'd at last.
The Gods saluting, still his eye
From Plutus turn'd; Jove ask'd him why?
"I hate the God who virtue scorns,"
Says he, "and all with gold suborns."


06/07/yearJupiter and the Monkey (source)

A baby show with prizes Jove decreed
For all the beasts and gave the choice due heed.
A monkey mother came among the rest,
A naked, snub-nosed pug upon her breast
She bore, in mother's fashion. At the sight
Assembled gods were moved to laugh outright.
Said she, "Jove knoweth where his prize will fall;
I know my child's the beauty of them all!"
This Fable will a general law attest:
That each one deems that what's his own is best.


06/08/yearNeither Beast Nor Bird (source)

A Beast he would be, or bird,
As might suit, thought the Bat: but he erred.
When the battle was done,
He found that no one
Would take him for friend at his word.


06/09/yearNeptune and Pallas (source)

Two Gods with emulation strove
By presents for Cecropia's love.
Great Neptune's trident smote the earthy
And to the stately horse gave birth.
Her fostering hands Athene spread,
And the fat olive rears its head.
Preferred before the warlike steed.
The palm to Pallas was decreed.
Mortals most grateful incense owe
To Gods, who peaceful gifts bestow.


06/10/yearOpportunity Described (source)

With sand perpetually that flows,
And ample scythe that all things mows,
One lock before and bald behind,
Is Time. When opposite you find,
Seize him in front. Jove ruling all,
Occasion past can ne'er recall.
Thus did the ancients Time display,
To warn the danger of delay.


06/11/yearPleasure and Pain (source)

Pleasure and Pain in constant fray.
Which o'er mankind should bear the sway;
Jove finding all agreement vain,
Link'd them together in a chain.
Hating the adamantine tie,
To its extremities they fly;
But dragg'd along, which ever lead.
The other must perforce succeed;
Doom'd, an inseparable pair.
In man to take alternate share.


06/12/yearPorcupine, Snake and Company (source)

Going shares with the Snakes, Porcupine
Said - The best of the bargain is mine;"
Nor would he back down,
When the snakes would disown
The agreement his quills made them sign.


06/13/yearSocrates and his Friends (source)

The name of friend we often hear;
But the reality is rare.
Good Socrates (O name rever'd!
Whose fame and fate I would have shar'd)
A house was building. Says a man,
"Why build you on so small a plan?"
The Sage replies: " Though small, I fear
There's more than room for friends sincere."


06/14/yearThe Aged Horse (source)

Once an old horse was sold to work the mill
And yok'd each eve a grinder's task to fill.
At last it groan'd and said, "What courses past,
Round what strange millers' turns I wheel at last!"
Be not too much with fortune's hopes elate;
Age ends for many in a troubled state.


06/15/yearThe Ass and The Lap Dog (source)

"How Master that little Dog pets!"
Thinks the Ass, and with jealousy frets,
So he climbs Master's knees,
Hoping dog-like to please,
And a drubbing is all that he gets.


06/16/yearThe Ass and The Sick Lion. (source)

Crafty Lion, perhaps with the gout,
Kept his cave; where, to solve any doubt,
Many visitors go:
But the Ass, he said "No!"
They go in, but I've seen none come out."


06/17/yearThe Ass Carrying Relics (source)

An Ass some Relics bore along,
Which, worshiped by the stupid throng,
He thought 'twas him they thus respected.
With stately step and ears erected,
As pleas'd he star'd about, the guide
Drubb'd with a stick his dusty hide,
Crying, "March, idiot! Don't you see
Thy load they kneel to, not to thee!"


06/18/yearThe Ass in the Lion's Skin (source)

"What pranks I shall play!" thought the Ass,
"In this skin for a Lion to pass."
But he left one ear out,
And a hiding, no doubt,
"Lion" had - on the skin of an Ass!


06/19/yearThe Bear and the Fox (source)

A bear for man was boasting fondness rare,
Whose corpse, he urged, he was not wont to tear.
To whom quoth Reynard, "Were the choice my own,
You should tear corpses, but let life alone;
Let none that hurt my life, my death bemoan."


06/20/yearThe Blind Doe (source)

A poor half-blind Doe her one eye
Kept shoreward, all danger to spy,
As she fed by the sea,
Poor innocent! she
Was shot from a boat passing by.


06/21/yearThe Boy and the Goldfinch (source)

"Let me, my pretty Bird, but know
Why from your gilded cage you go?"
A Stripling to his Goldfinch said
Who to a neighb'ring grove had fled:
"To give you all that you could ask.
Has ever been my pleasing task."
"'Tis true," replies the Bird, "less good
Will be my lodging and my food;
But nothing will my wings confine.
And native liberty be mine.''


06/22/yearThe Bull and the Calf (source)

A Bull within a narrow lane,
Striving his way by force to gain,
A Calf would teach him how to turn.
"Fool, I knew that e'er thou wert born,"
The Bull replied. Let this suffice,
Who wiser than themselves advise.


06/23/yearThe Bundle of Sticks (source)

To his sons, who fell out, father spake:
"This Bundle of Sticks you can't break;
Take them singly, with ease,
You may break as you please;
So, dissension your strength will unmake."


06/24/yearThe Camel. (source)

The restless discontented mind
Change for the worse will often find.
A Camel begg'd of Jove that he
One of the horned tribe might be;
Who, to reward his foolish prayers,
Decreed that he should lose his ears.


06/25/yearThe Captured Weasel (source)

A man had trapp'd a weasel which to drown
He in a water vessel tied it down,
But when she said, "How shamefully my aid
In catching mice and lizards have you paid!"
I own the debt," cried he; "but did not you
Stifle each bird, and rob each dwelling too,
And empty every meat-pot? You shall die!
For I'm more hurt than profited thereby."


06/26/yearThe Cat and the Cock (source)

A cat that ambush'd for some house-birds lay,
Swung itself, baglike, from a peg one day.
'Twas seen by a sagacious shrewd-tongued cock,
Which shrilly thus began the cat to mock;
"Full many bags I've noticed heretofore;
But none the grinders of a live cat bore."


06/27/yearThe Cat and The Fox (source)

The Fox said "I can play when it fits
Many wiles that with man make me quits."
"But my trick's up a tree!"
Said the Cat, safe to see
Clever Fox hunted out of his wits.


06/28/yearThe Dog and the Cook (source)

High feast a cit was holding at the end
Of sacrifice. His house dog ask'd a friend
Whom he had met to come and share his meal.
He came. The cook upraised him by the heel
And toss'd him o'er the wall into the street,
Whom when each dog did with the question greet,
"What cheer?" he said, "What more could be desired,
When I scarce know by what way I retired?"


06/29/yearThe Dog and the Quaker (source)

Quakers forbidd'n are by their teachers,
To lift their hand against God's creatures.
But, injur'd, their revenge to take,
Their instruments of others make.
A Dog had stol'n from one of these.
His evening mess of bread and cheese.
He struck him not; but calling out
"Mad Dog! mad Dog!" the rabble rout
Seizing on bludgeons, bricks, and stones,
Pursu'd the Dog, and broke his bones.


06/30/yearThe Driver and the Waggon (source)

Strong bulls to town upon their shoulders drew
A four wheel'd wain. Its creakings were not few.
Then was the driver wroth and drawing near
He spoke so plain it could not choose but hear,
"Thou worst of goods, will not thy groaning cease,
Though they, whose shoulders draw thee, hold their peace?"
It is a base man's way to raise a moan
As if the toil of others were his own.


07/01/yearThe Eagle and the Snail (source)

An Eagle, thro' the air on sail,
On a high rock descried a Snail:
"How cam'st thou on this lofty steep?"
He said, "Sir," says the Snail, "I creep."
How many a reptile do we see
Crawl, where he ne'er was made to be!


07/02/yearThe Fisherman and the Fish (source)

His late-cast net ashore a fisher drew,
Enclosing fish not all alike nor few.
The smaller, taking flight, contrived to get
Safe through the bottom of the meshy net,
Whilst in the ship the greater emptied lay.
'Tis surely safe and farthest from harm's way,
To be but small: for you shall seldom see
The high in rank escape calamity.


07/03/yearThe Fly and the Horse (source)

A Fly upon a coach-box seated,
With arrogance the Horses rated.
"Advance!" cries out the paltry thing,
"Unless you mean to feel my sting."
"Not thee we heed," a Horse replied,
"But him whose skilful hand can guide
The reins and whip: We better know
Than thee when we should stop or go."
Thus men without or sense or weight,
Think themselves born to rule the state.


07/04/yearThe Fox and The Crane (source)

You have heard how Sir Fox treated Crane:
With soup in a plate. When again
They dined, a long bottle
Just suited Crane's throttle:
And Sir Fox licked the outside in vain.


07/05/yearThe Fox Without a Tail (source)

Said Fox, minus tail in a trap,
"My friends! here's a lucky mishap;
Give your tails a short lease!"
But the foxes weren't geese,
And none followed the fashion of trap.


07/06/yearThe Frightened Lion (source)

A Bull-Frog, according to rule,
Sat a-croak in his usual pool:
And he laughed in his heart
As a Lion did start,
In a fright from the brink like a fool.


07/07/yearThe Frogs and the Bulls (source)

Oft when the strong dispute for sway,
The weak are victims of the fray.
A Frog who saw two Bulls contend,
Cried out, "What ills o'er us impend!"
"How so," said one, who chanc'd to hear,
"Pray what have we from Bulls to fear?"
"More than you think," replies the Frog:
"The beaten Bull will seek this bog,
Forc'd to forsake his native groves,
And tread down thousands as he roves."



07/08/yearThe Frogs and the Tortoise (source)

The wise contentedly will bear
Burthens that necessary are.
A Tortoise saw a nimble Frog,
Swimming and leaping in a bog,
And began nature to upbraid,
Who him had so unwieldy made.
But when he saw a water-snake,
His meal upon a dozen make:
"My rough impenetrable hide,
Though ponderous, is secure," he cried.


07/09/yearThe Geese and The Cranes (source)

The Geese joined the Cranes in some wheat;
All was well, till, disturbed at their treat,
Light-winted, the Cranes fled,
But the slow Geese, well fed,
Couldn't rise, and were caught in retreat.


07/10/yearThe Head and the Tail (source)

That land accurs'd what ills betide,
Where the vile populace preside!
A Serpent's Tail address'd the Head:
"Too long I've followed you," it said,
"Tls now my turn to take the lead."
"Tis well," replied the Head, "proceed!"
The Tail, unus'd, went wrong and slow,
And blind and deaf, got many a blow;
Nor did the Head much better fare,
Condemned its leader's ills to share.


07/11/yearThe Horse and The Ass (source)

Overladen the Ass was. The Horse
Wouldn't help, but had time for remorse
When the Ass lay dead there;
For he then had to bear
Both the load of the Ass and his corpse.


07/12/yearThe Hunter and the Fisherman (source)

A huntsman going laden from the hill,
A fisher too, whose fish his basket fill,
As luck would have it, chanced one day to meet,
And lo! the hunter thought the fish a treat;
The fisherman preferr'd the hunter's game.
So they exchanged their spoil. They did the same,
Each for a time, to suit the other's taste,
With all they took: till some one said, "You'll waste
And mar by use the present charm of these,
And each again will seek what used to please."


07/13/yearThe Jackdaw and the Sheep (source)

A jackdaw was chattering on the back of a sheep,
Who, in spite of the jackdaw was trying to sleep,
At length, after trying and trying in vain
To stop the bird's talking, the sheep did complain.
"Do stop your noisy tongue! You very well know,
If I were a dog you would not treat me so!"
"Oh!" replied the jackdaw, "I know that is true,
But you forget that no dog is like you.
The reason I treat you so is very plain,
You're too big a coward to fight back again."


07/14/yearThe Lazy Housemaids (source)

Two Maids killed the Rooster whose warning
Awoke them too soon every morning:
But small were their gains,
For their Mistress took pains
To rouse them herself without warning.

07/15/yearThe Lion and the Goats (source)

Prefer a safe and humble lot
To luxuries by danger got.
A Lion seeing from below
Goats feeding on a craggy brow,
"Come down," he says, "you here will find
Grass of a much superior kind."
We thank you for your royal care,"
Says one, "but here we better are;
The pasture if not quite so good,
In safety we can crop our food."


07/16/yearThe Lion in Love (source)

Though the Lion in love let them draw
All his teeth, and pare down every claw,
He'd no bride for his pains,
For they beat out his brains
Ere he set on his maiden a paw.


07/17/yearThe Man and the Fox (source)

A man that on his vines' and orchard's foe,
The fox, a strange affront design'd to throw,
Bandag'd its tail with tow, applied a light,
And sent it forth. Now Heaven's just oversight
Led the flame-bearer to its captor's fields.
It was the time for crops when harvest yields
A hopeful prospect of abundant share;
The man pursued, deploring wasted care,
And Ceres did not bless his threshing floor.
One should be meek, and ne'er be vexed sore.


07/18/yearThe Man That Pleased None (source)

Through the town this good Man and his Son
Strove to ride as to please every one:
Self, Son or both tried,
Then the Ass had a ride;
While the world, at their efforts, poked fun.


07/19/yearThe Mouse and The Lion (source)

A poor thing the Mouse was, and yet,
When the Lion got caught in a net,
All his strength was no use.
'Twas the poor little Mouse
Who nibbled him out of the net.


07/20/yearThe Partridge and the Cocks (source)

A partridge was put, by a man, in the yard,
Where he kept some game cocks that fought very hard.
The partridge considered his life in danger,
As he to the cocks was naught but a stranger.
But by watching, as sly as any shrewd fox,
The habits and tastes of those same old game cocks,
Soon, quite soon, he was able to discover
That foe or friend, enemy, or e'en lover,
These cocks cared not; it was their wish but to fight,
Be they ready or not, their side wrong or right.


07/21/yearThe Pike and the Herring (source)

A Pike, of ancient pedigree,
Came from his rivulet to the sea;
And with no title to be vain.
Treated the Sea-fish with disdain.
A Herring then indignant said,
"What folly has thee hither led?
Thou might'st be something in thy stream.
But here thou'lt meet with no esteem.''
Good Landlords, in your counties known.
There rest; ye're of no note in town.


07/22/yearThe Pine (source)

Some woodmen bent a forest pine to split
Into each fissure sundry wedges fit
To keep the void and render work more light.
Out groan'd the pine, "Why should I vent my spite
Against the axe which never touch'd my root,
So much as these curst wedges, mine own fruit,
Which rend me through inserted here and there!"
A fable this, intended to declare,
That not so dreadful is a stranger's blow
As wrongs which men receive from those they know.


07/23/yearThe Ram, the Stag and the Wolf (source)

The knave security who gives,
His creditors but more deceives.
A Stag once ask'd a Ram to lend
Some corn, on credit of his friend
The Wolf: The wary Ram demurr'd,
Afraid to trust in either's word.
"Bonds, notes," he says, "can little bind ye;
When pay-day comes the de'il won't find ye."


07/24/yearThe Sick Kite (source)

A Kite, long sick and like to die,
Begg'd of his mother to apply
With offerings at a neighbouring fane,
And prayers that health he might regain.
"I will," says she; "though much I fear
Little can be expected there,
From Gods their shrines so oft who see
Defrauded and defil'd by thee."


07/25/yearThe Sick Stag (source)

A stag whose lissome joints grew stiff had made
A grassy couch outside a woodland shade,
Hence ample fodder to his need he found.
Till soon, to see their neighbour, gathered round
Whole tribes of beasts (a right good neighbour he!)
Each came, and each with his supplies made free
By thoughtless nibbling, ere it sought the wood.
Thus sank, not by disease, but want of food,
A stag that scarce had yet two crow-lives told:
Had he lack'd friends, he haply had died old!"


07/26/yearThe Sow and the Wolf (source)

Put no reliance on a creature
Of savage and deceitful nature.
A Sow had laid her new-born race
Safe in a well-defended place.
A Wolf, as nurse, an offer made
The mother in the straw to aid.
" Thanks for your kindness," says the Sow,
"Your help we do not need just now;
What most obliging you can do,
Far from this quarter is to go."


07/27/yearThe Stag in The Ox Stall (source)

Safe enough lay the poor hunted Deer
In the ox-stall, with nothing to fear
From the careless-eyed men:
Till the Master came; then
There was no hiding-place for the Deer.


07/28/yearThe Two Bald Pates (source)

A Bald-Man found a comb; another
By chance came by, and call'd out, "Brother!
My share I claim;" he shews the prize;
"Fortune would favour us," he cries;
"Her bounty comes, alas, too late,
A comb is for a younger pate."
Your lives in idle projects past,
Thus, fools, you will complain at last.



07/29/yearThe Wind and The Sun (source)

The Wind and the Sun had a bet,
The wayfarers' cloak which should get:
Blew the Wind, the cloak clung;
Shone the Sun, the cloak flung
Showed the Sun had the best of it yet.


07/30/yearThe Wolf and The Lamb (source)

A Wolf, wanting lamb for his dinner,
Growled out, "Lamb, you wronged me, you sinner."
Bleated Lamb - "Nay, not true!"
Answered Wolf - "Then 't was Ewe -
Ewe or lamb, you will serve for my dinner."


07/31/yearThe Wolf and the Shepherd's Boy (source)

In wantonness a Shepherd's boy
Alarm'd the neighbours with his cry;
"The Wolf! the Wolf!" and, when they came,
Of their lost labour made his game.
At last the Wolf when there indeed,
His real cries they did not heed;
He and his flock a prey were made,
And for his lies he dearly paid.
Those who are known to have deceived,
When they speak truth, are not believ'd.


08/01/yearThe Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. (source)

The rogue is doubly vile who plies
His trade in honesty's disguise.
A Wolf a straggling Wether slew,
And round himself the sheep-skin threw.
As thus he near the sheep-fold hover'd,
He by the shepherd was discover'd;
Who knew him wolf not sheep to be,
And caught and hang'd him on a tree.


08/02/yearFortune and the Boy (source)

The improvident on fortune lay
The price they for their folly pay.
Upon the margin of a well,
Asleep a thoughtless Schoolboy fell
So sound, that Fortune passing by
Could scarcely wake him with her cry:
"For once I've sav'd thy life," says she,
"Another time more prudent be.
Yours was the fault, had you fall'n in;
Yet mine the blame had surely been."


08/03/yearHercules and the Carter. (source)

His cart bemir'd, a Carter pray'd
To Hercules to come and aid.
"Up!" says the God, "thou lazy dog,
And lift the axle from the bog;
Think'st thou Gods nothing have to do
But listen to such knaves as you?"


08/04/yearJupiter and the Cat. (source)

What vile is form'd, will vile remain.
The fairest of the purring train,
Her master's love had so much gain'd,
That he from Jupiter obtain'd
To make her woman and his wife.
When mindful of her former life,
Jove saw her leave the bridal bed,
To catch a mouse, he laughing said:
"Forms we may alter as we will,
But Nature will be Nature still."


08/05/yearThe Angler and the Little Fish. (source)

An Angler a small Salmon caught,
Who with much earnestness besought
That he would let her go: says she,
"What can you do with such as me!
Next year when grown a little bigger,
I in your bag might make a figure."
The prudent man replied, "No, no;
Into my pouch, though small, you go.
A bird in hand is better far,
Than two that in the bushes are."


08/06/yearThe Ass and the Shepherd (source)

When princes fall into disaster,
The people do but change their master.
A Shepherd, as he fed his Ass,
Saw soldiers at a distance pass,
And thus his animal address'd:
"'Tis time to fly; come, come, make haste!"
The patient beast says, "Think you, pray,
Two loads upon me they will lay?"
The man says "No." — "Then what care I!
All one to me to stay or fly."


08/07/yearThe Boaster (source)

In the house, in the market, the streets,
Everywhere he was boasting his feats;
Till one said, with a sneer,
"Let us see it done here!
What's so oft done with ease, one repeats."


08/08/yearThe Bulls and the Lion (source)

Three bulls together in one pasture grazed.
Of seizing these a lion's hopes were raised;
He thought their union all his aims would foil,
So with deep festering slanders to embroil
The friends he bent his mind. Asunder they
Became in turns the lion's easy prey.
If thou wouldst live securely to the end,
Distrust a foe but hold thou fast a friend.


08/09/yearThe Cock and the Pearl (source)

A Cock, in scratching up the ground,
A Pearl upon a dunghill found.
"How fine a thing," he sneering cries,
"For such a place! How great a prize,
For who thy lustre could restore!
A barleycorn had pleas'd me more:
Thou of no value art to me,
And I can nothing do for thee!"
To you this fable I relate
My works who falsely estimate.


08/10/yearThe Crow and the Pitcher. (source)

Patience and ingenuity
The want of natural means supply.
A thirsty Crow some water found,
But in a vessel so profound,
That with her neck at utmost stretch,
A single drop she could not reach.
Then stones she in the pitcher places,
Which to the top the water raises;
And by this innocent device
Her thirst at leisure satisfies.


08/11/yearThe Dog and The Shadow (source)

His image the Dog did not know,
Or his bone's, in the pond's painted show:
"T'other dog," so he thought,
"Has got more than he ought,"
So he snapped and his dinner saw go!


08/12/yearThe Dog in the Manger (source)

A Mastiff in a stable lay,
Couch'd on a manger full of hay.
When any thing drew near to eat,
He quickly forc'd it to retreat.
An Ox then cried, "detested creature,
How vile is thy malignant nature,
Which will not others let enjoy
That which thou never canst employ!"


08/13/yearThe Eagle and the Crow (source)

The wise well know their force to weigh,
Nor what they cannot do, essay.
A Carrion Crow an Eagle saw
Seize on a lamb with beak and claw.
Conceiving he could better do.
He pounces on a well fed ewe;
But he and not the sheep was caught;
For when to fly with it he sought
His feet entangled in the wool.
The shepherd seiz'd the helpless fool.


08/14/yearThe Famished Dogs (source)

Folly not only ne'er succeeds,
But oft to certain ruin leads.
Dogs in a stream a carcass saw:
Thinking the water off to draw,
To lap it up the idiots tried:
In the attempt they burst and died.


08/15/yearThe Fir-Tree and the Bramble (source)

A fir tree and a bramble disagreed,
For the fir alway paid to self the meed
Of praise, "I'm fine, well-grown in point of size:
And my straight top is neighbour to the skies;
'Tis I am roof of mansions, keel of ships:
So much my comeliness all trees outstrips."
To whom the bramble said, "Keep well in view
The axe, whose business is thy trunk to hew,
And saws that cut thee: haply thou'lt prefer
To be the bramble rather than the fir."


08/16/yearThe Fisher (source)

A fisher once played by a stream, being sure
That he with his music the fish could thus lure.
But never a fish could the fisher thus get
And so he was forced to rely on his net.
As the net soon was filled he then played again
And the fish in the net leapt up with each strain,
"Ah; now you dance when I play," said the old man.
"Yes," said an old fish, "when we have to, we can."
Do as you please in freedom's short hour,
For you'll do as you're bid when in a man's power.


08/17/yearThe Fox and The Grapes (source)

This Fox has a longing for grapes:
He jumps, but the bunch still escapes.
So he goes away sour;
And, 'tis said, to this hour
Declares that he's no taste for grapes.


08/18/yearThe Fox and the Leopard (source)

Vain of his variegated hide,
Thus did a Pard a Fox deride:
"Thy brush and fur of dirty red
Are frightful, honest friend," she said,
"I wonder you can bear to see
Yourself, when plac'd by side of me!"
"I little heed how looks my skin,"
Replied the Fox, "so that within,
You when occasion conies, shall find
How much superior is my mind."


08/19/yearThe Fox and The Lion (source)

The first time the Fox had a sight
Of the Lion, he 'most died of fright;
When he next met his eye,
Fox felt just a bit shy;
But the next, quite at ease and polite.


08/20/yearThe Fox and The Mosquitoes (source)

Being plagued with Mosquitoes
Said old Fox, "Pray don't send them away,
For a hungrier swarm
Would work me more harm;
I had rather the full ones should stay."


08/21/yearThe Fox and the Tragic Mask (source)

A Fox beheld a Mask - "0 rare
The headpiece, if but brains were there!"
This holds - whene'er the Fates dispense
Pomp, pow'r, and everything but sense.


08/22/yearThe Frog and The Bull (source)

Said the Frog, quite puffed up to the eyes,
"Was this Bull about me as to size?"
"Rather bigger, frog-brother."
"Puff, puff," said the other,
"A Frog is a Bull if he tries."


08/23/yearThe Frogs and the Sun (source)

On marriage of a knave of state,
Esop this fable did relate:
"Report had thro' the marshes spread,
That Sol was on the point to wed;
The croaking tribe made such a clatter,
That Jove inquir'd what was the matter.
"One Sun," a frighted Frog replies,
"Consumes us, when our lake he dries:
Then what will be our wretched fate,
Should this new couple propagate!"


08/24/yearThe Hares and the Frogs (source)

To end their days the hares made up their mind
And since they were of beasts the feeblest kind,
Timid of heart and dull in all but flight,
To hide themselves in some dark pool from light.
But as to a broad swamp they drew more near,
Upon its margin hosts of frogs appear,
Which into slimy depths affrighted leap.
As the hares paused, one said, "Your courage keep.
Let us return! To die we need not seek,
For here are others than ourselves more weak."


08/25/yearThe Herdsman's Vows (source)

A kid vowed to Jove, so might he
Find his herd, and his herd he did see
Soon, of lions the prey:
Then 'twas - "Get me away,
And a goat of the best take for free."


08/26/yearThe Housewife and her Hen (source)

A Housewife once a Hen possessed,
That every morning in her nest
Left a fine egg. Twice in the day
The Beldame wanted her to lay:
And so her nourishment increas'd.
Grown fat, to lay at all she ceas'd.


08/27/yearThe Lion and The Statue (source)

On a statue king Lion dethroned,
Showing conqueror Man, Lion frowned.
"If a Lion, you know,
Had been sculptor, he'd show
Lion rampant, and Man on the ground."


08/28/yearThe Man and the Dogs (source)

One whom a furious Dog had ript,
Threw him a sop in blood well dipt;
Which in some foolish book he found
A recipe to cure the wound.
When Esop thus, "Conceal, I pray,
From other Dogs the price you pay;
We all shall be devoured alive,
If such rewards for bites you give."
Successful crimes the bad excite,
And to worse wickedness invite.



08/29/yearThe Man and the Goose. (source)

He who on sordid gain is bent,
Oft disappoints his own intent.
A man possess'd a wond'rous Goose,
That of pure gold did eggs produce.
At once in riches to abound,
He cut her up and nothing found.


08/30/yearThe Man and the Serpent (source)

Who to the wicked aid has lent,
Will soon find reason to repent.
A Man a frozen Snake caress'd,
And plac'd, imprudent, on his breast.
Reviv'd, he stung him to the heart.
When ask'd his motive to impart;
"That all," he said, "may learn to know
No pity to the bad to show."


08/31/yearThe Married Mouse (source)

So the Mouse had Miss Lion for bride;
Very great was his joy and his pride:
But it chanced that she put
On her husband her foot,
And the weight was too much so he died.


09/01/yearThe Mountain in Labor (source)

The Mountain labor'd, groaning loud,
On which a num'rous gaping crowd
Of noodles came to see the sight,
When, lo ! a mouse was brought to light!
This tale 's for men of swagg'ring cast,
Whose threats, voluminous and vast,
With all their verse and all their prose,
Can make but little on 't, God knows.


09/02/yearThe Nurse and the Wolf (source)

A hungry Wolf once paused outside
A cottage where an infant cried,
And, listening, heard the nurse exclaim,
"Be still, you naughty child! For shame!
If you don't stop at once, I'll throw
You to the wolf outside." "Oho!"
Chuckled the Wolf, "how fortunate!
I'll stay just where I am and wait,
And soon my supper I shall get."
For all we know, he's waiting yet.


09/03/yearThe Peacock and the Crane (source)

Shun vanity; the brave and wise
Show and appearances despise.
Spreading his moons, a Peacock ey'd
A Crane with supercilious pride.
Fine are your feathers," says the Crane,
"But fixt to earth you still remain,
While, borne aloft, I wing my way
Through regions of ethereal day."


09/04/yearThe Storks and the Geese (source)

The least to carry off who have
Themselves from danger readiest save.
Some Storks and Geese a farmer found
Marauding on his new-sown ground;
The lean Storks flying straight away.
Left the fat Geese the score to pay.


09/05/yearThe Trumpeter Taken Prisoner. (source)

A Trumpeter, in battle ta'en,
Pleading for quarter, urg'd in vain,
That none he ever kill'd or wounded.
His plea by all was judg'd unfounded:
"That he who to the war excites
Is more to blame than he who fights;
That like the rest must be his lot"
And the poor Trumpeter was shot.


09/06/yearThe Tunny and the Sturgeon (source)

When falls the oppressor with the oppress'd,
The wretch's wrongs seem half redress'd.
A Sturgeon from a Tunny fled,
Who following with voracious speed,
They both were cast upon the strand.
As they lay gasping on the sand
The Sturgeon says, "My fate I bear,
Since the same lot I see thee share;
And thou who hadst design'd my death
Art forc'd thyself to yield thy breath."


09/07/yearThe Two Crabs (source)

"So awkward, so shambling a gait!"
Mrs. Crab did her daughter berate,
Who rejoined, "It is true
I am backward, but you
Needed lessons in walking quite late."


09/08/yearThe Two Wallets (source)

Jove has to man two sacks assign'd;
One hangs before and one behind;
In this our own defects we hide,
That is with other men's supplied.
Hence comes it, to our own though blind,
Another's faults we quickly find.


09/09/yearThe Viper and the File (source)

With envious tooth who others tear,
May find their bite retorted here.
A Viper in a cutler's shop,
Sought on some eatable to drop;
He bit a File; with haughty tone
Who said, "Vain fool! let me alone;
Thinks thou that he thy tooth will feel,
Who bites himself the hardest steel?"


09/10/yearThe Wolf and the Kid (source)

Cowards most insolent appear
When sure they nothing have to fear.
A Kid, within a fold high wall'd,
A Wolf thief, villain, rascal, call'd;
"I heed not what thou say'st," cried he,
"It is the wall that speaks, not thee."


09/11/yearThe Woodman and the Trees (source)

What the ill-minded ask, refuse;
Who gifts against the giver use.
One from the Trees begg'd leave to take
A piece of solid wood, to make
A handle for his axe; they granted
As much of yew-tree as he wanted.
The axe repair'd, its strokes resound;
Pine, Ash, and Poplar fall around. "
Misfortunes felt," says Oak to Beech,
"When 'tis too late, discretion teach."


09/12/yearA Fox and a Crab (source)

A Fox in search of food one day
Espied a stranded Crab that lay
Upon the beach. "What luck!" said he,
"A breakfast ready made for me!"
"The luck is yours," the Crab replied;
"Mine left me with the ebbing tide.
Had I been faithful to the sea,
I would not now your breakfast be!"


09/13/yearEsop to an Insolent Fellow (source)

Successful crimes to ruin lead.
An insolent at Esop's head
Once threw a stone. Sly Esop gave
A penny. "It is all I have,"
He said, "but yonder comes a man,
Repay you well who will and can.
Go; throw a stone at him, and see
How handsome your reward will be!"
The knave believ'd, and got his due;
Set in the stocks to public view.


09/14/yearHorse and Man (source)

When the Horse first took Man on his back,
To help him the Stag to attack,
How little his dread,
As the enemy fled,
Man would make him his slave and his hack.


09/15/yearHot and Cold (source)

When to warm his cold fingers, man blew,
And again, but to cool the hot stew;
Simple Satyr, unused
To man's ways, felt confused,
When the same mouth blew hot and cold too.


09/16/yearJove's Cask (source)

Jove in a cask all blessings pack'd and hid,
A charge for man: but first secured the lid.
Unbridled man, agog to scan the gift
And its contents, essay'd the top to lift.
Releas'd, each blessing mounted to the sky
And would not bide below, when free to fly.
Hope only tarried. Her the lid secured
When closed at last. And thus hath Hope endured
In human homes. In her sole form we see
Earnest of all the goods that then did flee.


09/17/yearKing Log and King's Stork (source)

The Frogs prayed to Jove for a king:
Not a log, but a livelier thing."
Jove sent them a Stork,
Who did royal work,
For he gobbled them up, did their king.


09/18/yearMice in Council (source)

Against Cat sat a Council of Mice.
Every Mouse came out prompt with advice,
And a bell on Cat's throat
Would have met a round vote,
Had the bell-hanger not been so nice.


09/19/yearThe Arab and the Camel (source)

An Arab having heap'd his camel's back,
Ask'd if he chose to take the upward track
Or downward; and the beast had sense to say,
"Am I cut off then from the level way?"


09/20/yearThe Ass and the Gipsies (source)

Him whom the fates to misery doom,
Disgrace pursues beyond the tomb.
Gipsies, to bear their baggage, led
An Ass, o'ercharg'd and scantly fed:
Of blows and poverty he died.
The Gipsies stript the wretch's hide,
To make a drum; which, beaten still,
Seem'd a continuance of ill.


09/21/yearThe Ass, the Ape and the Mole (source)

They who their sorrows most bemoan
May find worse miseries than their own.
An Ass his want of horns bewails;
An Ape that Apes are short of tails;
"What would you say," a Mole replies,
"Were you, like me, depriv'd of eyes?"


09/22/yearThe Bear and The Bees (source)

"Their honey I'll have when I please;
Who cares for such small things as Bees?"
Said the Bear; but the stings
Of these very small things
Left him not very much at his ease.


09/23/yearThe Bird and the Arrow (source)

The feather'd arrow in her side,
A Bird in plaintive accent cried,
''How sad it is the means to lend,
That brings us to a timeless end!"


09/24/yearThe Cock, The Ass and The Lion (source)

The Ass gave a horrible bray,
Cock crowed; Lion scampered away;
Ass judged he was scared
By the bray, and so dared
To pursue; Lion ate him they say.


09/25/yearThe Deer and The Lion (source)

From the hounds the swift Deer sped away,
To his cave, where in past times he lay
Well concealed, unaware
Of a Lion couched there,
For a spring that soon made him his prey.


09/26/yearThe Dolphins and the Crab (source)

'Twixt whales and dolphins there was difference great:
And to them came a crab to mediate.
Just as in states, if one of small renown
Should act peacemaker for each rival crown.


09/27/yearThe Eagle and the Serpent (source)

An Eagle, on the wing for prey.
Observed a Snake that sleeping lay,
And seiz'd him in her claws; the Snake
Us'd his last force revenge to take.
Dying, he writh'd his body round,
And gave his foe a mortal wound.
Tyrants will oft their ruin find
In ills for others they designed.


09/28/yearThe Faithful Dog (source)

Officious gifts may fools surprise,
But raise suspicion in the wise.
A night-thief, passing in the street,
To a House-dog presented meat.
"If this to hold my tongue you offer,"
Says Sultan, "know I scorn your proffer;
The bribes and flatt'ries of a stranger,
But warn me more to watch the danger."


09/29/yearThe Farmer's Treasure (source)

Dig deeply, my Sons! through this field!
There's a Treasure - he died: unrevealed
The spot where 'twas laid,
They dug as he bade;
And the Treasure was found in the yield.


09/30/yearThe Fly (source)

A Fly, upon a chariot pole,
Sees sandy clouds about him roll;
And, puft with self-importance, cries,
"The dust I raise obscures the skies!''


10/01/yearThe Fox and The Crow (source)

Said sly Fox to the Crow with the cheese,
"Let me hear your sweet voice, now, do please!"
And this Crow, bring weak,
Cawed the bit from her beak.
"Music charms," said the Fox, "and here's cheese."


10/02/yearThe Fuller and the Collier (source)

Let fitness guide your inclination:
Suit your companions to your station.
A Collier offer'd to receive
A Fuller, forc'd his house to leave:
"Thank you, my friend;" the Fuller said,
"But what would happen to my trade,
If what all morning I make white,
Your coal-dust must make black at night?"


10/03/yearThe Gnat and the Ox (source)

Cries to an Ox a little Gnat,
As perch'd upon his horn she sat,
"My weight fatigues you, Sir, I fear;"
Says Ox, ''I knew not thou wert there.''


10/04/yearThe Hare and The Tortoise (source)

'Twas a race between Tortoise and hare,
Puss was sure she's so much time to spare,
That she lay down to sleep,
And let old Thick-shell creep
To the winning post first! You may stare.


10/05/yearThe Hart and The Vine (source)

The Hart by the hunters pursued,
Safely hid in a Vine, till he chewed
The sweet tender green,
And, through shaking leaves seen,
He was slain by his ingratitude.


10/06/yearThe He and She Goats (source)

When the She-goats had beards obtain'd
From Jupiter, the males complain'd
Their dignity was lost: says Jove,
"This need not your displeasure move:
While you superior strength retain,
This vain appearance let them gain."
Learn hence to let another shine
In fortune's gifts: Be virtue thine.


10/07/yearThe Hen and The Fox (source)

The Hen roosted high on her perch;
Hungry Fox down below, on the search,
Coaxed her hard to descend
She replied, "Most dear friend!
I feel more secure on my perch."


10/08/yearThe Horse and the Ass (source)

He on the ground who rests his head
Sleeps of no precipice in dread.
An Ass with envying eye surveyed
A Courser in his war-parade.
Curvetting to the trumpet's sound,
With steps that scarcely touch'd the ground.
The squadrons join, the battle burns,
Stript, wounded, lame, the Horse returns.
The Ass then grateful felt, that Heav'n
To him a humbler lot had giv'n.


10/09/yearThe Lion, the Bull and the Goat (source)

Curs'd is the wretch who has the will
Without the power to do ill.
As once a Bull from Leo fled,
A Goat oppos'd his horny head.
"Out of my way, poor idiot," cries
The Bull, "if you your safety prize."
The stupid animal stood fast,
And the Bull toss'd him as he past.


10/10/yearThe Lizard (source)

'Tis said a lizard burst its back in twain
In vain attempts a dragon's size t'attain.
Hurt to thyself will be thy certain fate,
If men far higher thou shouldst imitate.


10/11/yearThe Miser and His Gold (source)

He buried his Gold in a hole.
One saw, and the treasure he stole.
Said another, "What matter?
Don't raise such a clatter,
You can still go and sit by the hole."


10/12/yearThe Monkeys (source)

Twins at each birth the female monkey bears,
Yet gives not them her love in equal shares.
For, by her illstarr'd fondness one opprest
Is kill'd with kindness in her rugged breast.
The other as a useless idiot thrown
Adrift, an outcast, thrives when left alone.
Men's natures oft are such, that friendliness
In them than hate is to be chosen less.


10/13/yearThe Mouse and the Weasel (source)

A Hungry Mouse, so very thin,
His bones stood staring through the skin,
By a small cranny forc'd his way
Into a meal-tub: night and day
He fed on the delicious meat.
Grown fat he wanted to retreat,
But found the hole too small by half;
His efforts made a Weasel laugh:
"No, no," he says, "it will not do;
As lean thou cam'st, thou lean must go."


10/14/yearThe Mouse that Fell into the Pot (source)

A mouse into a lid-less broth pot fell;
Choked with the grease and bidding life farewell,
He said, "My fill of meat and drink have I,
And all good things; 'tis time that I should die."
Thou art that dainty mouse among mankind,
If hurtful sweets are not by thee declined.


10/15/yearThe Mule (source)

A mule in lazy manger fed on hay
And, fresh with corn, began to leap and say,
Kicking his heels, "A racer is my dam,
And I for her a match in fleetness am!"
Yet with sad visage soon his course he check'd,
Constrain'd his sire the ass to recollect.


10/16/yearThe Oak and The Reed (source)

Giant Oak, in his strength and his scorn
Of the winds, by the roots was uptorn:
But slim Reeds at his side,
The fierce gale did outride,
Since, by bending, the burden was borne.


10/17/yearThe Old Woman and the Wine-Cask (source)

A Wine-Cask met a Grandam's nose;
The scent was good that from it rose;
Falernian lees there still remain'd,
Which their old odour had retain'd.
"What must," says she, "have been the wine,
That leaves a fragrance so divine!"
Who know me, here perhaps will see,
Something may be applied to me.


10/18/yearThe Ox and the Ass (source)

With a she-ass, best shift his means allow'd
A tiller yoked his only ox, and plough'd.
When these he was preparing to unyoke,
Their work being over, thus the ass bespoke
The ox: "Who carries home the old man's gear?"
"The beast whose wont it is," said he, "'tis clear."


10/19/yearThe Oxen and the Butchers (source)

Some oxen wish'd the butcher tribe to kill
Who boasted a to them destructive skill.
But when they met and now for direful fray
Whetted their horns, an ox of ancient day
Among them, who for years had borne the plough,
Said, "These at least have hands experienced, how
To kill and carve us, not to hack and hew:
But if we chance on men to slaughter new,
We shall die twice. One will not lack to fell
The ox but one perhaps to do it well."


10/20/yearThe Peacock's Complaint (source)

The Peacock considered it wrong
That he had not the nightingale's song;
So to Juno he went,
She replied, "Be content
With thy having, and hold thy fool's tongue."


10/21/yearThe Sculptor and Mercury (source)

A man had wrought a Mercury for sale
In marble. Would-be buyers did not fail.
One for a pillar (he'd just lost a son)
To buy it wish'd; for a god's statue, one.
Night came: yet it the sculptor had not sold.
So he agreed at morn again t' unfold
The statue, if they'd come. In slumber deep
He gazed on Hermes at the gates of sleep,
Who said, "Good measure of my worth you take,
Since god or corpse of me you mean to make."


10/22/yearThe Sleep of the Wicked (source)

Beneath a bower's protecting shade,
A wicked Minister was laid.
A gentle rivulet, winding round.
Murmuring, but made his sleep more sound.
"Should such a man have peaceful rest?"
Said one who long had known the pest:
"Yes," says his friend," while thus he lies,
"The world a short repose enjoys."


10/23/yearThe Sparrow and the Hare (source)

A hare being seized by an eagle most bold,
In pitiful tones his sad story told.
A foolish young sparrow hard by on a tree,
Offered no pity, but laughed in his glee.
And said to the hare: "I think it absurd.
A swift hare like you, to be caught by a bird."
Then a hawk darting down seized the poor sparrow,
And ere long was dining, in state, on her marrow,
And the hare as he drew his lingering breath,
Saw the poor little sparrow strangling in death.


10/24/yearThe Stag and the Fawn (source)

A fawn once said to a stag: "Pray tell me why
You are so frightened when a dog comes nigh.
You are larger, stronger, and fleeter than he,
So why he should frighten you I cannot see.
I am sure if the dogs knew this to be true
They certainly all would be fleeing from you."
"My friend," said the stag, "there's been many a day
I have said to myself just what you now say,
But, for all that, I am not sure I could win,
And a dog makes me want to jump from my skin."


10/25/yearThe Thief and the Pauper (source)

He to whom fortune nothing gives,
Free from the dread of robbers lives.
A Pauper as he lay in bed,
Overhearing some one in his shed
Groping and searching all about,
Something of value to take out.
Cries, ''What by day I ne'er could see,
To find by night you'll lucky be!"


10/26/yearThe Traveller (source)

The man thro' rough roads who his journey has sped,
From sunrise to evening's dim close;
Sups quickly, and calls for his candle and bed,
Impatient from toils to repose.
So, when weary and old, we have struggled our way.
Through this troublesome warfare and strife;
We are glad to lie down at the end of the day;
Old age is the bed-time of life.


10/27/yearThe Two Frogs (source)

Their marsh dried up, two Frogs set out,
For some fresh spring to look about;
They come to a deep draw-well's side:
"We here," says one, "may safe abide,
From boys and cranes and fishes free,
In plentiful security."
"Halt," cries the other, "if you please;
'Tis true we can descend with ease,
But if this spring the sun should drain,
Pray how shall we get up again?"


10/28/yearThe Two Jars (source)

"Never fear!" said the Brass to the Clay,
Of two jars that the flood bore away:
"Keep you close to my side!"
But the Porcelain replied,
"I'll be smashed if beside you I stay."


10/29/yearThe Ungrateful Wolf (source)

To the Wolf, from whose throat the Crane
Drew the bone, his long bill made it plain
He expected his fee:
Snarled Wolf - "Fiddle de dee,
Be thankful your head's out again."


10/30/yearThe Vain Jackdaw (source)

"Fine feathers," Jack thought, "make fine fowls;
I'll be envied of bats and of owls."
But the Peacock's proud eyes
Saw through his disguise,
And Jack fled the assembly of fowls.


10/31/yearThe Widow and the Sheep (source)

A widow kept at home a single sheep
Out of whose fleece a larger gain to reap
She clipp'd it rudely, press'd the shears too near
Its flesh, and kept them not from wounding clear.
The smarting sheep cried, "Do not torture me!
My blood in weight will small addition be.
Nay, mistress, nay! My flesh if you require,
To kill me quick, a practis'd butcher hire,
But if 'tis fleece and wool, not flesh, you need, Shearers will shear me, yet not make me bleed."


11/01/yearThe Wild Ass and the Lion (source)

Chase partners were the lion and wild ass:
That did in prowess, this in speed surpass:
A booty of fat beasts their hunt supplied,
Which into three the lion would divide.
"This first," said he, "as foremost, I shall take
In right of kinghood. That my equal stake
Marks as my part. And, for the hindmost lot,
'Twill cause you hurt, unless you flee, I wot."
Measure your strength, nor, with a man more strong,
To company or partnership belong.


11/02/yearThe Wolf and the Fox (source)

A hapless fox fell in a wild wolf's way
And pray'd him her old life to spare, not slay.
"I will, by Pan, I will," the wolf replied,
"If in thy next three words thou hast not lied."
"Well: first then," said she, "would we had not met!"
Next that a blind wolf had my path beset!
And third, and last," she added, "go for ever:
I trust from this day forth to meet thee never!"


11/03/yearThe Wolf and the Shepherds (source)

The powerful too oft abuse
Rights, which to others they refuse.
A prowling Wolf one evening put
His muzzle in a Shepherd's hut;
And there at table saw them seated,
To a young lamb's fat quarter treated.
"Aye, aye, 'tis very well," said he;
"Did you at such a feast find me,
The country up in arms would be."


11/04/yearThe Young Cocks (source)

Two Tanagraean cocks a fight began;
Their spirit is, 'tis said, as that of man;
Of these the beaten bird, a mass of blows,
For shame into a corner creeping goes;
The other to the housetop quickly flew,
And there in triumph flapp'd his wings and crew.
But him an eagle lifted from the roof
And bore away; his fellow gain'd a proof
That oft the wages of defeat are best,
None else remain'd the hens to interest.


11/05/yearFortune and The Boy (source)

A Boy heedless slept by the well
By Dame Fortune awaked, truth to tell,
Said she, "Hadst been drowned,
'Twould have surely been found
This by Fortune, not Folly befel."


11/06/yearHercules and The Waggoner (source)

When the God saw the Waggoner kneel,
Crying, "Hercules! Lift me my wheel
From the mud, where 'tis stuck!"
He laughed - "No such luck;
Set your shoulder yourself to the wheel."


11/07/yearThe Ass and The Enemy (source)

"Get up! Let us flee from the Foe,"
Said the Man: but the Ass said, "Why so?
Will they double my load,
Or my blows? Then, by goad
And by stirrup, I've not cause to go."


11/08/yearThe Boasting Traveller (source)

While talking with friends, a traveller of old,
Of his great achievements this story once told:
"While staying in Rhodes, far over the sea,
No athlete, in jumping could ever beat me.
I once took a jump, that each man trying hard
For the prize, could not make within a good yard,
'Tis a fact as true as you are standing there,
Were we in Rhodes ten men to it would swear."
"Why go to Rhodes to prove your story true?"
Said one: "Try here and we'll see what you do."


11/09/yearThe Cat and Venus (source)

Might his Cat be a woman, he said:
Venus changed her. The couple were wed,
But a mouse in her sight
Metamorphosed her quite,
And, for bride, a cat found he instead.


11/10/yearThe Cock and The Pearl (source)

A Rooster, while scratching for grain,
Found a Pearl. He just paused to explain
That a jewel's no good
To a fowl wanting food,
And then kicked it aside with disdain.


11/11/yearThe Crab and his Mother (source)

Said a Crab in tone irate
To her son, "Your sidelong gait
Annoys me; can you not go straight?
Said the Son, "I'll try, if you
Will show me how." What could she do?
Mother Crab went sideways too!


11/12/yearThe Crane and the Peacock (source)

To a bright-plumaged peacock smart and vain
This sharp retort fell from an ashen crane:
"Through these dull wings, whose colour you decry,
I scream aloft, in starry heights I fly.
You, cock-like, flap your wings. The tail you spread
With all its gold, is never seen o'erhead."
Rather would I in threadbare coat aspire
Than live inglorious, tho' in rich attire.


11/13/yearThe Crow and The Pitcher (source)

How the cunning old Crow got his drink
When 'twas low in the pitcher, just think!
Don't say that he spilled it!
With pebbles he filled it,
Till the water rose up to the brink.


11/14/yearThe Dog in The Manger (source)

A Cow sought a mouthful of hay;
But a Dog in the manger there lay,
And he snapped out "How now?"
When, most mildly, the Cow
Adventured a morsel to pray.


11/15/yearThe Dog in the River (source)

The churl that wants another's fare
Deserves at least to lose his share.
As through the stream a Dog convey'd
A piece of meat, he spied his shade
In the clear mirror of the flood,
And thinking it was flesh and blood,
Snapp'd to deprive him of the treat:
But mark the glutton's self-defeat,
Miss'd both another's and his own,
Both shade and substance, beef and bone.


11/16/yearThe Drover that Lost a Bull (source)

To a far forest for a bull that stray'd,
A well horn'd beast, a drover quest had made.
Then to the mountain nymphs and gods around,
Hermes and Pan, he sware, in case he found
The thief, a lamb should fall a sacrifice.
Crossing a hill, his noble bull he spies,
Feasting a lion. Then he vows in grief,
To add an ox, if he escape the thief.


11/17/yearThe Eagle and The Crow (source)

The Eagle flew off with a lamb;
Then the Crow thought to lift an old ram;
In his eaglish conceit,
The wool tangled his feet,
And the shepherd laid hold of the sham.


11/18/yearThe Fatal Courtship (source)

'Tis said the mouse that saved the lion's life
Was emboldened to ask his daughter to wife.
The lion, laughing, put mousie at ease,
And said: "I am willing, if my daughter you please.
Be seated, my friend, in her soft, cushioned chair,
While I to my daughter your wish will declare."
Miss Lion came bouncing her lover to greet,
But crushed out his life with one of her feet.
Though deeming your lot most humble and ill,
Seek not a position you never can fill.


11/19/yearThe Fir and The Bramble (source)

The Fir-tree looked down on the Bramble.
"Poor thing only able to scramble
About on the ground."
Just then an axe' sound
Made the Fir wish himself but a Bramble.


11/20/yearThe Fisherman and The Fish (source)

Prayed the Fish, as the Fisherman took
Him, a poor little mite, from his hook,
"Let me go! I'm so small."
He replied, "Not at all!
You're the biggest, perhaps, in the brook."


11/21/yearThe Fisherman Piping (source)

A fisher play'd the pipes with wondrous skill
And, hoping shoals of fish of their own will
Would to the sweet sound of his piping throng,
Let down his net and piped a tuneful song.
But when his breath was spent, his piping nought,
He cast again and fish in numbers caught.
These panting here and there ashore he spied
And as he wash'd his net thus sharply cried,
"Dance without music now! Had ye been wise,
Ye had before danced to my melodies."


11/22/yearThe Four Bulls and the Lion (source)

Once on a time four Bulls agreed
To herd together and to feed
In the same pasture. Crouched near by,
A Lion watched, but dared not try
His strength against four Bulls combined:
And so by craft he undermined
Their friendship, sowing seeds of hate
And causing them to separate
And graze in fields apart. This done,
He feasted on them one by one.


11/23/yearThe Fox and the Grapes (source)

A Fox all efforts us'd in vain,
Some tempting clusters to obtain,
Which hung too high: "Yon Grapes," says he,
Are sour; I'll wait till ripe they be."
A common tribe this fable shews,
Who what they cannot reach, abuse.


11/24/yearThe Fox and the Hedgehog (source)

A wounded Fox disabled lay;
To drive tormenting flies away
A Hedgehog offered him his aid:
"No, Sir, I thank you," Reynard said;
"Already I have borne the ill;
These of my blood have suck'd their fill;
And should we now these robbers chase,
A hungry swarm would take their place."


11/25/yearThe Fox and the Leopard (source)

A leopard was heard giving vent to his thoughts,
Expressing much pride in his beautiful spots.
A cunning old fox was standing quite near him,
And listened intently on purpose to hear him.
Speaking with dignity and raising his head,
To the boasting leopard the sly old fox said:
"Your beauty from mine is a different kind;
You're proud of your skin while I'm proud of my mind.''
It is true, very true, this fact you will find,
There's no greater beauty than that of the mind.


11/26/yearThe Fox and the Lion (source)

Men will become, by habit led,
Familiar with what most they dread.
Fox who had no lions seen,
Met one of a tremendous mien,
And trembling fled. Another day
He look'd again upon the way,
He look'd him in the face: At last
Made him a rev'rence as he past;
Accosted him; and ventur'd near,
As if there nothing was to fear.


11/27/yearThe Fox and the Mask (source)

A Fox beheld a painted head;
"What beauty without brains!" he said.
To you, this saying may apply,
Ye fools, whom fortune lifts on high.


11/28/yearThe Geese and the Cranes (source)

A flock of young geese joined with a flock of cranes
To eat the green corn, brought up by the spring rains.
A farmer who saw them devouring his corn
Frightened them away by blowing his horn.
The cranes, being light of wing, soon flew away,
Leaving the geese to stand the brunt of the fray.
"Everyone for himself" is what people say,
When, fleeing from danger, they hasten away.


11/29/yearThe Golden Eggs (source)

A golden egg, one every day,
That simpleton's Goose used to lay;
So he killed the poor thing,
Swifter fortune to bring,
And dined off his fortune that day.


11/30/yearThe Hares and The Frogs (source)

Timid Hares, from the trumpeting wind,
Fled as swift as the fear in their mind;
Till in fright from their fear,
From the green sedges near,
Leaping Frogs left their terror behind.


12/01/yearThe Hungry Dogs (source)

A stupid plan that fools project,
Not only will not take effect,
ut proves destructive in the end
To those that bungle and pretend.
Some hungry Dogs beheld an hide
Deep sunk beneath the crystal tide,
Which, that they might extract for food,
They strove to drink up all the flood;
But bursten in the desp'rate deed,
They perish'd, ere they could succeed.


12/02/yearThe Kid and the Wolf (source)

A Kid, safe in a hayloft high,
Laughed at a Wolf that happened by;
"Well," said the Wolf, "I must admit
Up there you have the best of it;
But let the Hayloft have its due,
'Tis the Loft laughs at me, not you;
If you don't think so, try your wit
Down here, and see who laughs at it!"


12/03/yearThe Lion and the Man. (source)

Lion and Man, on some pretence,
Disputed for pre-eminence.
In marble wrought, the latter show'd
A man who o'er a lion strode.
"If that be all," the beast replied,
"A lion on a man astride,
You soon assuredly would view,
The sculptor's art if lions knew."
Each nation would the rest excel,
If their own tale allow'd to tell.


12/04/yearThe Man and the Dog (source)

Torn by a Cur, a man was led
To throw the snappish thief some bread
Dipt in the blood, which, he was told,
Had been a remedy of old.
Then Esop thus: - "Forbear to show
A pack of dogs the thing you do,
Lest they should soon devour us quite,
When thus rewarded as they bite."
One wicked miscreant's success
Makes many more the trade profess.


12/05/yearThe Man and The Snake (source)

In pity he brought the poor Snake
To be warmed at his fire. A mistake!
For the ungrateful thing
Wife and children would sting.
I have known some as bad as the Snake.


12/06/yearThe Marriage of the Sun (source)

The Sun's espousals were at summer's prime;
Hence all the beasts enjoy'd a jovial time.
The frogs too led the dance in marsh and mere
Till a toad check'd them, saying, "Nought is here
To call for joy but rather grief and moan;
For if he dries each spring while yet alone,
How by this union are we not undone,
If like himself he should beget a son?"
Many o'er trifles needlessly exult,
From which too often sorrow will result.


12/07/yearThe Mountain in Labour (source)

A Mountain labouring to bring forth;
The world expects a mighty birth.
Out comes a mouse. For you this fable,
Mighty in words, in deeds unable.


12/08/yearThe Ox and the Toad (source)

An ox at water once a toadling crush'd,
Whose dam, then absent, quickly homeward rush'd
And question'd all its brethren where it was:
"Mother, 'tis dead. Before its time, alas,
Beneath the hoof of a huge quadruped
'Twas trampled down!" "Was it as large," she said,
"As this?" She tried her proper size to strain.
"Mother," cried they, "forbear! nor fume in vain
You'll rend yourself in sunder ere you rise,
Howe'er you ape it, to that monster's size."


12/09/yearThe Snake and The File (source)

A Snake, in a fix, tried a File
For a dinner. "'Tis not worth your while,"
Said the steel, "Don't mistake:
I'm accustomed to take;
To give's not the way of a File."


12/10/yearThe Trees and The Woodman (source)

The Trees ask of Man what he lacks.
"One bit, just to handle my axe?"
All he asks - well and good:
But he cuts down the wood,
So well does he handle his axe.


12/11/yearThe Trumpeter Taken Prisoner (source)

A Trumpeter, prisoner made,
Hoped his life would be spared when he said
He'd no part in the fight,
But they answered him - "Right,
But what of the music you made?"


12/12/yearThe Tunny and the Dolphin (source)

A tunny swam out into shallow water,
A dolphin pursuing eagerly sought her.
A huge ocean wave threw him on the dry laud,
No one being near him to lend him a hand.
The dolphin, per chance, by another huge wave,
Was landed beside him to share the same grave.
The tunny seeing the dolphin at his side,
Ere death closed his eyes to the dolphin he cried
"I die content, truly glad am I to see
My enemy's death blow was given by me."


12/13/yearThe Two Bags (source)

Great Jove, in his paternal care,
Has giv'n a man two Bags to bear;
That which his own default contains
Behind his back unseen remains;
But that which others' vice attests
Swags full in view before our breasts.
Hence we're inevitably blind,
Relating to the Bag behind;
But when our neighbours misdemean,
Our censures are exceeding keen.


12/14/yearThe Wolf and the Nurse (source)

A country nurse to fright her babe to peace
Said, "Wolf shall have thee, or thy cries must cease."
The wolf o'erheard, believed the scolding crone,
And stay'd in hopes to find the feast his own.
But evening came; the babe was hush'd to rest:
The wolf still gaped, with rav'ning hunger prest.
At last his hopes to utter dulness grew:
Then to his anxious helpmate he withdrew.
"How cam'st thou empty?" said she. He replied,
"Because upon a female I relied."


12/15/yearThe Woman and the Hen (source)

A certain woman had a hen which laid each day an egg.
So fine and large, she knew that she need never starve or beg,
So good a price did these eggs bring. But not content with that,
She thought the hen might lay her two, if she were doubly fat.
And so she fed her till she was as sleek as any ball,
But found she had so lazy grown, she did not lay at all.
This moral find we here. Your fortunes don't bemoan,
But when you're doing well, let well enough alone.


12/16/yearApollo and Jupiter (source)

Said the far darter to the gods on high,
"Not one can farther shoot or throw than I."
In sport great Jove Apollo's challenge took,
And quick the lots in Mars' cap Hermes shook.
Luck was with Phoebus. Soon the golden bow
And string he circles, lets the arrow go,
And shoots within the gardens of the West.
Said Jove, when the same range his feet had prest,
"Space fails me, boy. To what point can I shoot?"
Thus without shaft he won the arrow's fruit.


12/17/yearBrother and Sister (source)

Twin children: the Girl, she was plain;
The Brother was handsome and vain;
"Let him brag of his looks,"
Father said; "Mind your books!
The best beauty is bred in the brain."


12/18/yearFortune and Vice (source)

Fortune and Vice dispute one day.
Which had to punish greater sway.
Says Fortune, "At my sovereign will,
I take all good and give all ill."
"Granted," says Vice, "but without me
None can completely wretched be;
While I, alone, do all you can.
In perfect misery plunge my man."


12/19/yearHercules and Plutus (source)

The honours that are bought and sold
The brave in detestation hold.
Alcides, for his labours past,
Was into Heaven receiv'd at last.
The Gods saluting, still his eye
From Plutus turn'd; Jove ask'd him why?
"I hate the God who virtue scorns,"
Says he, "and all with gold suborns."


12/20/yearJupiter and the Monkey (source)

A baby show with prizes Jove decreed
For all the beasts and gave the choice due heed.
A monkey mother came among the rest,
A naked, snub-nosed pug upon her breast
She bore, in mother's fashion. At the sight
Assembled gods were moved to laugh outright.
Said she, "Jove knoweth where his prize will fall;
I know my child's the beauty of them all!"
This Fable will a general law attest:
That each one deems that what's his own is best.


12/21/yearNeither Beast Nor Bird (source)

A Beast he would be, or bird,
As might suit, thought the Bat: but he erred.
When the battle was done,
He found that no one
Would take him for friend at his word.


12/22/yearNeptune and Pallas (source)

Two Gods with emulation strove
By presents for Cecropia's love.
Great Neptune's trident smote the earthy
And to the stately horse gave birth.
Her fostering hands Athene spread,
And the fat olive rears its head.
Preferred before the warlike steed.
The palm to Pallas was decreed.
Mortals most grateful incense owe
To Gods, who peaceful gifts bestow.


12/23/yearOpportunity Described (source)

With sand perpetually that flows,
And ample scythe that all things mows,
One lock before and bald behind,
Is Time. When opposite you find,
Seize him in front. Jove ruling all,
Occasion past can ne'er recall.
Thus did the ancients Time display,
To warn the danger of delay.


12/24/yearPleasure and Pain (source)

Pleasure and Pain in constant fray.
Which o'er mankind should bear the sway;
Jove finding all agreement vain,
Link'd them together in a chain.
Hating the adamantine tie,
To its extremities they fly;
But dragg'd along, which ever lead.
The other must perforce succeed;
Doom'd, an inseparable pair.
In man to take alternate share.


12/25/yearPorcupine, Snake and Company (source)

Going shares with the Snakes, Porcupine
Said - The best of the bargain is mine;"
Nor would he back down,
When the snakes would disown
The agreement his quills made them sign.


12/26/yearSocrates and his Friends (source)

The name of friend we often hear;
But the reality is rare.
Good Socrates (O name rever'd!
Whose fame and fate I would have shar'd)
A house was building. Says a man,
"Why build you on so small a plan?"
The Sage replies: " Though small, I fear
There's more than room for friends sincere."


12/27/yearThe Aged Horse (source)

Once an old horse was sold to work the mill
And yok'd each eve a grinder's task to fill.
At last it groan'd and said, "What courses past,
Round what strange millers' turns I wheel at last!"
Be not too much with fortune's hopes elate;
Age ends for many in a troubled state.


12/28/yearThe Ass and The Lap Dog (source)

"How Master that little Dog pets!"
Thinks the Ass, and with jealousy frets,
So he climbs Master's knees,
Hoping dog-like to please,
And a drubbing is all that he gets.


12/29/yearThe Ass and The Sick Lion. (source)

Crafty Lion, perhaps with the gout,
Kept his cave; where, to solve any doubt,
Many visitors go:
But the Ass, he said "No!"
They go in, but I've seen none come out."


12/30/yearThe Ass Carrying Relics (source)

An Ass some Relics bore along,
Which, worshiped by the stupid throng,
He thought 'twas him they thus respected.
With stately step and ears erected,
As pleas'd he star'd about, the guide
Drubb'd with a stick his dusty hide,
Crying, "March, idiot! Don't you see
Thy load they kneel to, not to thee!"


12/31/yearThe Ass in the Lion's Skin (source)

"What pranks I shall play!" thought the Ass,
"In this skin for a Lion to pass."
But he left one ear out,
And a hiding, no doubt,
"Lion" had - on the skin of an Ass!