Modern Poets and Poetry of Spain/The Lamb and his Two Advisers


A farm there was, with a poultry-yard,
Where roved an old bantam about;
And laid at his ease, a pig was barr'd
In a sty close by without.

A lamb moreover was raised up there;
We know it does so befall:
Together in farms these animals fare,
And in good company all.

"Well, with your leave," said the pig one day
To the lamb, "what a happy life!
And healthful too, to be sleeping away,
One's time without cares or strife!

"I say there is nothing, as I am a pig,
Like sleeping, stretch'd out at ease;
Let the world go round with its whirligig,
And cares just as it may please."

The other the contrary chanced to tell
The same little lamb, to take heed;
"Look, innocent! here, to live right well,
Sleep very little indeed.

"Summer or winter, early to rise
With the stars the practice seek;
For sleeping the senses stupefies,
And leaves you languid and weak."

Confused, the poor lamb the counsels compares,
And cannot perceive in his mind,
That contrary each advising declares,
But how he himself is inclined.

And thus we find authors the practice make,
To hold, as infallibly true,
The rules they fancy themselves to take,
And in their own writings pursue.