The Ape – Jataka Tales

Kriloff’s Original Fables
Labour as best you may
;
Your work no praise shall pay, No gratitude, no fame, no well-earned leisure, Unless it profit bring to some, to others pleasure.
A peasant with the dawn his plough
Took out into a field to work
;
Labour he was not one to shirk,
And soon the sweat in streams dropped off his brow. As all his neighbours did allow Him honest and good-natured too, Of passers-by there were but few
Did not salute with thanks for service done. An Ape, who heard it, was to envy wrought, —For praise is sweet, by most of us is sought

And swore his labours now should be begun.
He found a log : his aim was won

To work he sets, And frets, Up to his ears in trouble : The log in air he lifts, Now shoves, now shifts, Now rolls, now tries to bend it double : The sweat pours down like rain
;
He stands then gasping ; yet, ’tis all in vain,
No praise doth softly at his ear-drum tap. And ’tis no wonder, my laborious swain
!
Such useless labours are not worth a rap !