The Doe and the Dervis

Kriloff’s Original Fables
A Doe, that had her new-born young ones lost, Whose teats with milk were filled to overflowing,
Found in the wood two wolf-cubs, whining, tost By chance, and to them mother’s love was showing,
Feeding them from her udders well In the lone wood, where they did dwell. A Dervis, by her action much surprised,
Said, as he passed : ” senseless one, dost know
To whom thy milk, to whom thy love ? Despised
Thou’lt be ; canst think that race will show
Thee gratitude ? Such natures work but ill, And these thy blood will some day spill.”
” So be it,” the Doe replied.
” Of that to think I’ve never tried, And would not now begin : A mother’s instinct has been all I felt
My udders pain to me had surely dealt,
If none from them my milk sucked in.”
And thus a good deal for itself is done,
Without the slightest hope of gain : A kind heart ever will abundance shun,
If it can’t help with it a neighbour’s pain.
[This fable may be considered as the reverse of the
picture, ” The Good-natured Fox,” and most probably refers to the same circumstances.]

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