The Barley-mow and the Dunghill

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Fable XXXV

How many saucy airs we meet
From Temple Bar to Aldgate Street!
Proud rogues, who shared the South-Sea prey,
And sprung like mushrooms in a day!
They think it mean, to condescend
To know a brother or a friend;
They blush to hear their mother's name,
And by their pride expose their shame.
   As cross his yard, at early day,
A careful farmer took his way,

He stopped, and leaning on his fork,
Observed the flail's incessant work.
In thought he measured all his store,
His geese, his hogs, he numbered o'er;
In fancy weighed the fleeces shorn,
And multiplied the next year's corn.
   A Barley-mow, which stood beside,
Thus to its musing master cried:
   'Say, good sir, is it fit or right
To treat me with neglect and slight?

Me, who contribute to your cheer,
And raise your mirth with ale and beer?
Why thus insulted, thus disgraced,
And that vile dunghill near me placed?
Are those poor sweepings of a groom,
That filthy sight, that nauseous fume,
Meet objects here? Command it hence:
A thing so mean must give offence'
   The humble dunghill thus replied:
'Thy master hears, and mocks thy pride:

Insult not thus the meek and low;
In me thy benefactor know;
My warm assistance gave thee birth,
Or thou hadst perished low in earth;
But upstarts, to support their station,
Cancel at once all obligation.'



The Fables, Volume 1 (1727)
Introduction The Shepard and the Philosopher
Fable I The Lion, the Tiger, and the Traveller
Fable II The Spaniel and the Cameleon
Fable III The Mother, the Nurse, and the Fairy
Fable IV The Eagle, and the Assembly of Animals
Fable V The wild Boar and the Ram
Fable VI The Miser and Plutus
Fable VII The Lion, the Fox, and the Geese
Fable VIII The Lady and the Wasp
Fable IX The Bull and the Mastiff
Fable X The Elephant and the Bookseller
Fable XI The Peacock, the Turkey, and the Goose
Fable XII Cupid, Hymen, and Plutus
Fable XIII The Tame Stag
Fable XIV The Monkey who had seen the World
Fable XV The Philosopher and the Pheasants
Fable XVI The Pin and the Needle
Fable XVII The Shepherd's Dog and the Wolf
Fable XVIII The Painter who pleased Nobody and Everybody
Fable XIX The Lion and the Cub
Fable XX The Old Hen and the Cock
Fable XXI The Rat-catcher and Cats
Fable XXII The Goat without a Beard
Fable XXIII The Old Woman and her Cats
Fable XXIV The Butterfly and the Snail
Fable XXV The Scold and the Parrot
Fable XXVI The Cur and the Mastiff
Fable XXVII The Sick Man and the Angel
Fable XXVIII The Persian, the Sun, and the Cloud
Fable XXIX The Fox at the point of Death
Fable XXX The Setting-dog and the Partridge
Fable XXXI The Universal Apparition
Fable XXXII The Two Owls and the Sparrow
Fable XXXIII The Courtier and Proteus
Fable XXXIV The Mastiffs
Fable XXXV The Barley-mow and the Dunghill
Fable XXXVI Pythagoras and the Countryman
Fable XXXVII The Farmer's Wife and the Raven
Fable XXXVIII The Turkey and the Ant
Fable XXXIX The Father and Jupiter
Fable XL The Two Monkeys
Fable XLI The Owl and the Farmer
Fable XLII The Jugglers
Fable XLIII The Council of Horses
Fable XLIV The Hound and the Huntsman
Fable XLV The Poet and the Rose
Fable XLVI The Cur, the Horse, and the Shepherd's Dog
Fable XLVII The Court of Death
Fable XLVIII The Gardener and the Hog
Fable XLIX The Man and the Flea
Fable L The Hare and many Friends


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