Juno and the Peacock

Her fav’rite bird to Juno came,
And was in dudgeon at the dame,
That she had not attuned her throat
With Philomela’s matchless note;
“She is the wonder of all ears;
But when I speak the audience sneers.”
The goddess to the bird replied,
(Willing to have him pacified,)
“You are above the rest endued
With beauty and with magnitude;
Your neck the em’rald’s gloss outvies,
And what a blaze of gemmeous dies
Shines from the plumage of your tail!”
“All this dumb show will not avail,”
Cries he, “if I’m surpass’d in voice.”
“The fates entirely have the choice
Of all the lots—fair form is yours;
The eagle’s strength his prey secures;
The nightingale can sing an ode;
The crow and raven may forebode:
All these in sheer contentment crave
No other voice than Nature gave.”
By affectation be not sway’d,
Where Nature has not lent her aid;
Nor to that flatt’ring hope attend,
Which must in disappointment end. [more info]

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