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Who true to love, was all for recreation,
Not louder cries, when Ilium was in flames,
cry, For which their guiltless lords were doom'd to die, Now to my story I return again : The trembling widow, and her daughters twain, This woful cackling cry with horror heard, Of those distracted damsels in the yard; And starting up beheld the heavy fight, How Reynard to the forest took his flight, And cross his back, as in triumphant scorn, The hope and pillar of the house was born.
The fox, the wicked fox, was all the Out from his house ran ev'ry neighbor nigh; The vicar first, and after him the crew, With forks and staves the felon to pursue. Ran Coll our dog, and Talbot with the band, And Malkin, with her distaff in her hand Ran cow and calf, and family of hogs, In panic horror of pursuing dogs ; With many a deadly grunt and doleful squeak, Poor swine, as if their pretty hearts would break. The shouts of men, the women in dismay, With Prieks augment the terror of the day. The ducks that heard the proclamation cry'd, And fear'd a persecution might betide, Full twenty mile from town their voyage take, Obscure in rushes of the liquid lake. The geese fly o'er the barn; the bees in arms Drive headlong from their waxen cells in swarms.
Jack Straw at London-stone, with all his rout,
But see how Fortune can confound the wife, And when they least expect it, turn the dice. The captive-cock, who scarce cou'd draw his
breath, And lay within the very jaws of death ; Yet in this agony his fancy wrought, And fear fupply'd him with this happy thought : Your's is the prize, victorious prince, said he, The vicar my defeat, and all the village see. Enjoy your friendly fortune while you may, And bid the churls that envy you the prey Call back their mungril curs, and cease their cry, See fools, the shelter of the wood is nigh, And Chanticleer in your despite shall die,
He shall be pluck'd and eaten to the bone.
'Tis well advis'd, in faith it shall be done; This Reynard said: but as the word he spoke, The pris'ner with a spring from prison broke: Then stretch'd his feather'd fans with all his might, And to the neighb'ring maple wing'd his flight ;
Whom when the traitor safe on tree beheld, He curs'd the Gods, with shame and sorrow fillid; Shame for his folly, forrow out of time, For plotting an unprofitable crime ; Yet mastring both, th' artificer of lyes Renews th' assault, and his last batt’ry tries.
Tho I, said he, did ne'er in thought offend, How justly may my lord suspect his friend? Th' appearance is against me, I confess, Who seemingly have put you in distress : You, if your goodness does not plead my cause, May think I broke all hofpitable laws, To bear
you from your palace-yard by might, And put your noble person in a fright: This, since
take it ill, I must repent, Tho Heav'n can witness with no bad intent : I practis'd it, to make
cheer With double pleasure, first prepar'd by fear, So loyal fubjects often seize their prince, Forc'd (for his good)to seeming violence, Yet mean his sacred person not the least offence
you taste your
Descend; so help me Jove as you shall find
Nay quoth the cock ; but I beshrew us both,
with all my soul, said Chanticleer ; But, with your favor, I will treat it here : And left the truce with treason should be mixt, "Tis my concern to have the tree betwixt.
THE MORA L.
In this plain fable you th' effect may see Of negligence, and fond credulity: And learn besides of flatt'rers to beware, Then most pernicious when they speak too fair. The cock and fox, the fool and knave imply; The truth is moral, tho' the tale a lye.