Page:Poets of John Company.djvu/107

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Incens'd at such unlook'd-for jokes,
The bird let fly some random strokes,
Disabled two unlucky crows.
And dealt, besides, some awkward blows;
But scarce had time to rest, before
The crows began to tease once more;
For coming now, in greater numbers,
They fairly spoilt his kingship's slumbers.
That little imps, like these, should dare
To pass a joke, was something rare;
But that they'd chosen him to be
Food for their mirth, was far too free;
And thinking thus, he judg'd it best,
To put the thing at once to rest,
That crows might, thenceforth, learn to know
How much he differed from a crow;
So, just as one unlucky wight
Was landing from his downward flight,
He open'd wide his ample bill,
And soon the crow was snug and still
Within that dark and dreary bourne,
Whence Cats and Crows can ne'er return.

From this let every jester learn
His proper objects to discern;
It is not safe to pass one's jokes
On Kings, and Queens, and such-like folks;
For though the great may relish wit,
They may not choose to furnish it;
And jesters who have any sense.
Will seldom jest at their expense.