The Ox and the Frogs

A colony of croaking Frogs,
Who lived within a shaking bog;
Were much annoyed by cattle's feet,
Which stamped about their snug retreat;
And sometimes killed, a frog or two, -
They didn't like it, nor would you.
And so, one day with solemn state,
They held a croaking, high debate;
And after many pros, and cons,
A way, at last, they fixed upon.
Up spoke a grave, and ancient Frog,
Who sate upon a mouldy log -
"If this affair, you'll trust to me,
A better state of things you'll see;-
I know the mighty Ox who owns,
The pond which joins our marshy homes;
With your consent, to him I'll go,
And your proceedings let him know."
So said - so done, - and swelling high,
With danger in his goggle eye;
With breeches red, and coat of green;
(For he had in the army been)
And visage stern, and bearing high,
And clanging sabre on his thigh;
He knocked at Farmer Ox's door,
And soon his highness stood before.
The Ox sat in his easy chair,
His pot and pipe, beside him there;
An aged mastiff, by his side,
With specs, upon his nose astride.
Then said the Ox, with accents slow;
"Dear Master Frog, I fain would know, -
To what I owe, this honor rare;
And why, you strut, so proudly there?"
Then with a swell, which at its worst,
Seemed like, his leather belt to burst;
The Frog made answer, "Sir, I'm here,
For what, will very soon appear;
Your cattle, sir - I grieve to say,
A vicious lot - come every day,
And in the pond, they splash and swim,
Without regard for life or limb.
Now, Farmer Ox, I say to you,
This state of things, will never do;
So near our marsh, they must not roam,
And you must keep your cows at home.
If not - some other mode we'll find
To fix this matter to our mind!"
This said - The Frog with visage wise,
Swelled out to an enormous size;
Then clanked his sword, as if to say,
"I know for one - a speedy way."
Then Farmer Ox, with humor grim,
And burning eye, replied to him;
"Great Sir, your eloquence so fine,
I would not dare to match with mine;
Your modest message shall not wait,
This honest dog shall answer straight."
Then, at a wink - the growling dog,
Flew fiercely at the luckless Frog;
And seizing him, with savage roar,
All lifeless, dashed him to the floor!
Then, to the marsh they quickly speed,
And slaughter all the croaking breed!
Who learned the bitter truth at length,
That weakness must not threaten strength;
And civil words will often gain
A point, that rudeness seeks in vain. [more info]

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