The Crow and the Fox

Was it the Crow that by a cunning Plot
A piece of Cheese had got?
Or sherking Rook, or Chough, or Pye?
Some bold affirm, as boldly some deny.
But sure I am it was that Daw, or Crow,
And I can prove it to be so,
That robb'd the King his Master of his meat;
And now to make his Cozenage more compleat,
On a Man, his King's King, puts the second cheat.
The Crow, surpriz'd with his own happy Wit,
Could neither stand not sit;
Proud of the Spoil, he makes a search
Through all the Grove to find a dancing Pearch:
From bough to bough th'Insulter hops;
Too low are now tall Cedars tops.
At last he fix'd; whom slie Sir Reynard sees,
And soon projecting how to get the Cheese,
Thus he accosts him, plac'd 'mong lofty Trees;
O thou most Weather-wise, who best canst tell
When Heaven as dark as Hell
Juno incens'd shall make, and when
Jove condens'd air, will rarifie agen.
But what sings lying Fame? She saies
Thou blacker art than those foul daies:
But yet to think, Swan's silver down seems tann'd,
Phoenix her funerall Fire with such Plumes fann'd,
And Mexicans in fight like Angels stand.
As thou in Plumes, didst thou excel in voice,
'Twould Heaven and Earth rejoyce:
Wouldst thou but chant one pleasing Lay
Then be thou King of Birds, and Lord of May.
Fair Crow intreated, not refuse
As crotcheting Musicians use;
Sing, and let mountain Larks forsake the skie,
And let the emulating Lynnet dye,
And Swans no more tune their own Obsequie.
Success wide doors to open Flattery gives;
All this the Crow believes:
Trying to reach no common Note,
Down drops the Dainty in sly Reynard's throat;
Who chops it up; then fleering said:
You have sung well, and I have plaid
My part not ill: All learned Doctors hold
Cheese for the voice far worser is than cold,
Since once it turn'd a Syren to a Scold.
When the Crow said: I that robb'd Man, whose Plot
Spoyles from the Eagle got;
A Beast hath cozen'd of no less
A dainty now than my whole second mess.
What cannot glozing Flatterers do,
When our own selves we flatter too?
Go, scorn'd of all, and take they woful flight
To dismal Groves, there mix with Birds of Night:
Did thy own eyes believe the Crow is White?
Great is the power of Charms, but what inchants
More than bewitching tongues of Sycophants?
Love, and the wealth of Kings, are in their power,
And Gold not sooner takes the Maiden Tower.
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