The Stag at the Fountain

Full often what you now despise
Proves better than the things you prize;
Let Esop’s narrative decide:
A Stag beheld, with conscious pride,
(As at the fountain-head he stood)
His image in the silver flood,
And there extols his branching horns,
While his poor spindle-shanks he scorns—
But, lo! he hears the hunter’s cries,
And, frighten’d, o’er the champaign flies—
His swiftness baffles the pursuit:
At length a wood receives the brute,
And by his horns entangled there,
The pack began his flesh to tear:
Then dying thus he wail’d his fate:
“Unhappy me! and wise too late!
How useful what I did disdain!
How grievous that which made me vain.” [more info]

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