Kriloff’s Original Fables
Under the kitchen window lay
Rover and Dash, to warm them in the sun, Though more becoming had it been, if they,
To guard the house, had gone to play
Before the gate, or in the yard to run
But, as they’d eaten as much as they could stuff, And were, besides, well bred enough
During the day to bark at none, They had preferred to have a chat Of things in general, of this and that, And how a dog’s hard service should be done : At length of friendship they to talk began.
” What can be,” Rover says, ” more pleasant than
When two hearts only for each other beat, In all with mutual service sure to meet ? Without thy friend to sleep not, nor to eat, And know that, hero-like, to save thy skin,
Thy friend, when there’s a risk, himself jumps in? In short, to read within each other’s eyes, That every hour together spent but happier flies, And think but how, by tricks, and jokes, and
To make thy friend thy company run after ? Such friendship is the greatest bliss that life can show
What, for example, if between us two A friendship firm as this should grow ?
I dare to say, We should not see the moments as they fly.” ” Well, done then ! Let thy wish have way !
Doth Dash reply
” Tis long I’ve felt that, Rover, thou and I, Dogs of one yard, should never fight, And well thou know’st, we do it day and night ;
Without much cause for it ! The master’s kind : Ne’er hungry we, and most things to our mind ! Besides, it truly is a shame : Dogs once for friendship were examples quoted,
But now with dogs, as if ‘mong men, ’tis noted
That friendship’s but a name.”
” Let us the age’s bright example be,”
‘ give thy paw ! “—” Here ’tis for th !
The new friends then fell to to close embracing,
Each fondly after his fond comrade racing ; They know not in their joy what names to give : “Orestes !”—” Pylades ! “—To squabbling now an end,
No more in envy, malice now to live ! The cook here most unhappily did send
A bone to them the window through,
To it at once our new-pledged comrades flew
Where now had got their concord wise ? At Pylades Orestes flies, And clots and hairtufts fill the air : A washtub in the end did part the tender pair.
The world is full of friendship quite as fair
Of all the friends we see, ’tis hardly sin To say, their friendship is the same : Listen to them—it seems their souls are twin
But throw a bone to them, and they our Dogs will shame
[In this fable we have the Congress of Vienna, and the famous alliance between Austria, England, and France,
against Russia and Prussia.]
Kriloff’s Original Fables