A First Series of Hymns and Songs/Descriptive Songs/The Fox and the Cat
33. The Fox and the Cat.
The Fox and the Cat, as they travelled one day,
With moral discourses cut shorter the way:
"'Tis good," said the Fox, "to make justice our guide."
"How godlike is mercy!" Grimalkin replied.
As thus they proceeded, a Wolf from the wood,
Impatient of hunger and thirsting for blood,
Rush'd forth as he saw the dull shepherd asleep,
And seized for his breakfast an innocent Sheep.
"'Tis in vain," cried the Wolf, "Mistress Sheep, that you bleat,
When mutton's at hand, you know well I must eat."
The Cat was astounded! the Fox stood aghast!
To see the fell beast at his cruel repast.
"What a wretch!" said the Cat; "what a bloodthirsty brute!
To seize a poor Sheep, when there's herbage and fruit."
Cried the Fox, "With the acorns so sweet and so good,
What a tyrant this is to spill innocent blood."
Then onward they went and discoursed by the way,
And with still more wise maxims enliven'd the day;
And e'er as they travell'd they moralised still,
Till they came where some poultry peck'd chaff by a mill
Then the Fox, without ceasing his sayings so wise,
Now snapp'd up a Chicken by way of a prize;
And a mouse which then chanced from her covert to stray,
The thoughtful Grimalkin secured as her prey.
A Spider who sat in her web on the wall
Perceived the poor victims and pitied their fall;
She cried, "Of such murders how guiltless am I!"
Then ran to regale on a new-taken Fly.