The Eagle and the Mole

Kriloff’s Original Fables
Mind, and despise not any one’s advice, Before you’ve thought it over twice.
From some far distant spot arriving
Within the depths of an old dreamy wood,
An Eagle, with his royal mate, was striving —They had resolved to stay in it for good

To build their nest upon a branching oak,
That summer might within it offspring see. Hearing of this, a Mole, too free, Untp the Eagle boldly spoke :-
The tree he’d chosen was not of the best
;
Its roots were rotting fast away, And fall it well might any day
;
And thus, the Eagle on its top should build no nest.
But, was it for an eagle fitting, that he take Advice from out a hole,
And from a mole ? Are we not right
To praise an eagle’s piercing sight ? And, is it for a mole the purpose dread to shake
Of air’s great king ?
So, on the Mole not wasting e’en a word,
Contemptuously to work set to the bird,
And soon, as passed the spring,
A new joy to him did his consort bring.
All ended well ; and children now are there,
The firstborn of the royal pair.
What then ? As once he homeward flies, One early dawn, from ranging o’er the skies,
With an inviting breakfast for his brood,
The Eagle sees,—no oak where once it stood ! And, crushed beneath its fall, his queen there
lies, With all her young around ! With grief he’s almost blinded
:
” Unhappy one ! ” he cried, ” How cruelly hath fate avenged thy pride ! To listen to advice I was not minded.
But was there any ground
For thinking that a mole could give me counsel sound ? ”
” If thou hadst not despised my state,” The Mole said, ” thou hadst learned, and not too late, That ‘neath the soil I bore my hole,
And must know better if the tree be whole,
While under all its roots I grope and grate.” — —
[The first two lines are found in the collections of Russian proverbs.]