The Eagle, and the Assembly of Animals

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Fable IV

As Jupiter's all-seeing eye
Surveyed the worlds beneath the sky,
From this small speck of earth were sent,
Murmurs and sounds of discontent;
For every thing alive complained,
That he the hardest life sustained.
Jove calls his eagle. At the word
Before him stands the royal bird.
The bird, obedient, from heaven's height,
Downward directs his rapid flight;

Then cited every living thing,
To hear the mandates of his king.
   'Ungrateful creatures, whence arise
These murmurs which offend the skies?
Why this disorder? say the cause:
For just are Jove's eternal laws.
Let each his discontent reveal;
To yon sour dog, I first appeal.'
   'Hard is my lot,' the hound replies,
'On what fleet nerves the greyhound flies,

While I, with weary step and slow,
O'er plains and vales, and mountains go.
The morning sees my chase begun,
Nor ends it till the setting sun.'
   'When,' says the greyhound, 'I pursue,
My game is lost, or caught in view;
Beyond my sight the prey's secure:
The hound is slow, but always sure.
And had I his sagacious scent,
Jove ne'er had heard my discontent.'

   The lion craved the fox's art;
The fox, the lion's force and heart:
The cock implored the pigeon's flight,
Whose wings were rapid, strong, and light:
The pigeon strength of wing despised,
And the cock's matchless valour prized:
The fishes wished to graze the plain;
The beasts to skim beneath the main.
Thus, envious of another's state,
Each blamed the partial hand of Fate.

   The bird of heaven then cried aloud,
'Jove bids disperse the murmuring crowd;
The god rejects your idle prayers.
Would ye, rebellious mutineers,
Entirely change your name and nature,
And be the very envied creature?
What, silent all, and none consent!
Be happy then, and learn content:
Nor imitate the restless mind,
And proud ambition, of mankind.'

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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