The Fables of Florian (tr. Phelps)/The Canary and the Crow

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Together were two cages hung,
       For music and for show;
In one a fine canary sung,
       In t'other screech'd a crow.
One charm'd the household with his song,
The other vex'd it with his cries;
Forever cawing all day long,
He call'd for bread, and cakes, and pies.

And people fed him to his fill,
As the best way to keep him still.
Loud rang the sweet canary's strain,
He ask'd for naught, and sung in vain.
For none supplied his pressing needs,
Or gave him water, or his seeds.

Those most delighted by his chants,
Were quite oblivious of his wants.
They liked him well enough, 'twas true,
But never gave him what was due.
At last one day they found him dead,
Merely for want of being fed.
"Alas!" folks cried, "how can we spare
A songster so beyond compare!
How could he die?—a bird so rare!"

But while they thus express surprise,
The crow keeps up his stunning cries,
And still is fed on cakes and pies.