The Cuckoo and the Cock

Kriloff’s Original Fables
” How loud, dear Cock, and proudly thou dost sing ! ” —” And thou, sweet Cuckoo, what clear notes Of melody drawn out from thee do ring
!
The singers of our woods have not such throats.” —” I’m ready, gossip, thee an age to hear.” —”And thou, my beauteous one, I swear, No sooner have thy strains died off in air, Than I stand watching till again they fill my ear.
Whence comes such voice as thine ? So pure, so tender, and so high ! Thou, sure, wast born with it : and I, Small though thou art, defy
A nightingale to match thy trills divine !

—” Thanks, gossip, on my conscience I declare,
In paradise itself no bird can shine
Above its fellows with a song so rare, As flows from thee,
And all that hear it must with this agree.”
A sparrow passing cried : ” My friends, I’m glad
To hear you praise each other till you’re hoarse,
But, all the same, your music’s bad !

Well, was it not a thing of course ?
Justly the Cock was by the Cuckoo lauded, Because the Cuckoo he himself applauded.
[In this fable Kriloff laughed at the mutual compliments
of Gretch and Bulgarin, two well-known writers of the day,
who, having become joint editors of ” The Northern Bee,”
lost no opportunity of belabouring each other with fulsome
praise.]