[Page 29]

FABLE [09] IX.

The Bull and the Mastiff.

1 Seek you to train your fav'rite boy?
2 Each caution, ev'ry care employ,
3 And ere you venture to confide,
4 Let his preceptor's heart be try'd;
5 Weigh well his manners, life, and scope,
6 On these depends thy future hope.
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7 As on a time, in peaceful reign,
8 A Bull enjoy'd the flow'ry plain,
9 A Mastiff pass'd; inflam'd with ire,
10 His eye-balls shot indignant fire,
11 He foam'd, he rag'd with thirst of blood.
12 Spurning the ground the monarch stood,
13 And roar'd aloud. Suspend the fight,
14 In a whole skin, go, sleep to-night;
15 Or tell me, ere the battel rage,
16 What wrongs provoke thee to engage?
17 Is it ambition fires thy breast,
18 Or avarice that ne'er can rest?
19 From these alone unjustly springs
20 The world-destroying wrath of Kings.
21 The surly Mastiff thus returns.
22 Within my bosom glory burns.
23 Like heroes of eternal name,
24 Whom poets sing, I fight for fame:
25 The butcher's spirit-stirring mind
26 To daily war my youth inclin'd,
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27 He train'd me to heroic deed,
28 Taught me to conquer or to bleed.
29 Curst dog, the Bull reply'd, no more
30 I wonder at thy thirst of gore,
31 For thou (beneath a butcher train'd,
32 Whose hands with cruelty are stain'd,
33 His daily murders in thy view,)
34 Must, like thy tutor, blood pursue.
35 Take then thy fate. With goring wound
36 At once he lifts him from the ground,
37 Aloft the sprawling hero flys,
38 Mangled he falls, he howls and dyes.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): FABLE [09] IX. The Bull and the Mastiff.
Author: John Gay
Themes: animals
Genres: fable

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Source edition

FABLES. By Mr. GAY. London: Printed for J. Tonson and J. Watts, MDCCXXVII., 1727, pp. 29-31. [14],173,[1]p.: ill.; 4°. (ESTC T13818)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.

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