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Full Online Book HomePoemsJove's Eagle, And Murmuring Beasts
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Jove's Eagle, And Murmuring Beasts Post by :tikelz Category :Poems Author :John Gay Date :May 2011 Read :2118

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Jove's Eagle, And Murmuring Beasts

As Jove once on his judgment-seat,
Opened the trap-door at his feet;
Up flew the murmurs of creation,
Of every brute that had sensation.
The Thunderer, therefore, called his Eagle,
Which came obedient as a beagle,--
And him commanded to descend,
And to such murmurs put an end.
The eagle did so--citing all
To answer the imperial call.

He spoke: "Ye murmurers declare
What are these ills which trouble air?--
Just are the universal laws.
Now let the dog first plead his cause."

A beagle answered him: "How fleet
The greyhound's course, how nerved his feet!
I hunt by scent, by scent alone;
That lost, and all my chance has flown."

Answered the greyhound: "If I had
That which he scorns, I should be glad;
Had I the hound's sagacious scent,
I ne'er had murmured discontent."

The lion murmured he had not
Sly Reynard's wits to lay a plot;
Sly Reynard pleaded that, to awe,
He should possess the lion's paw.
The cock desired the heron's flight;
The heron wished for greater might.
And fish would feed upon the plain,
And beasts would refuge in the main.
None their ambitious wish could smother,
And each was envious of another.

The eagle answered: "Mutineers,
The god rejects your idle prayers.
But any may exchange who wishes,
And chop and change,--birds, beasts, and fishes."
The eagle paused; but none consented
To quit the race they represented,
And recognised the restless mind
And proud ambition of mankind.


(The end)
John Gay's poem: Jove's Eagle, And Murmuring Beasts

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