aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Headin' for Bed

I've got to be up betimes in the morning, so here's tomorrow's poetry post a little ahead of time.

The Sycophantic Fox and the Gullible Raven

A raven sat upon a tree,
     And not a word he spoke, for
His beak contained a piece of Brie,
     Or, maybe, it was Roquefort.
          We'll make it any kind you please --
          At all events it was a cheese.

Beneath the tree's umbrageous limb
     A hungry fox sat smiling;
He saw the raven watching him,
     And spoke in words beguiling:
          "J'admire," said he, "ton beau plumage,"
          (the which was simply persiflage.)

Two things there are, no doubt you know,
     To which a fox is used:
A rooster that is bound to crow,
     A crow that's bound to roost;
          And whichsoever he espies,
          He tells the most unblushing lies.

"Sweet fowl," he said, "I understand
     You're more than merely natty,
I hear you sing to beat the band
     And Adelina Patti.
          Pray render with your liquid tongue
          A bit from Götterdämmerung!"

This subtle speech was aimed to please
       The crow, and it succeeded;
He thought no bird in all the trees
     Could sing as well as he did.
          In flattery completely doused,
          He gave the "Jewel Song" from Faust.

But gravitation's law, of course,
     As Isaac Newton showed it,
Exerted on the cheese its force,
     And elsewhere soon bestowed it.
          In fact, there is no need to tell
          What happened when to earth it fell.

I blush to add that when the bird
     Took in the situation,
He said one brief, emphatic word,
     Unfit for publication.
          The fox was greatly startled, but
          He only sighed and answered "Tut."

The Moral is:  A fox is bound
     To be a shameless sinner.
And also:  When the cheese comes round
     You know it's after dinner.
          But (what is only known to few)
          The fox is after dinner, too.

-- Guy Wetmore Carryl

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