The Lion and the Panther

Kriloff’s Original Fables
Once in the days of old, A lengthened war between a Lion and Panther bold
Raged for the woods, and dales, and caves which they
disputed.
To yield to others’ rights ne’er entered either’s mind
:
The powerful of earth are oft reputed
To be to all rights blind. They follow out their law of might
:
The one that conquers, he is in the right.
Our heroes, though, could not for ever fight

They’d blunt their claws : So they resolved to leave their quarrel to the laws
;
To put an end to war and strife, And then, as is the use, make peace for ever

Till the first wrangle them did sever. ” Sooner to have a quiet life,
Let each of us an arbitrator name,”
The Panther said, ” and as they two decide,
So be all without blame. The cat I do appoint upon my side
;
Not showy he, but with a conscience clear
:
Thy cause unto the ass entrust ; his rank is high,
And, if to speak out I’m permitted, I Know not another beast of such engaging cheer ! Believe me as thy friend : thy Court and Council both
Thou’lt soon be nothing loth To change against a hoof of his ; nor fear But what he with my cat decrees
Will be what best ourselves shall please.”
The Lion what the Panther said confirmed,
Without an angry word
;
Only the fox he, not the ass, affirmed Should in his cause be heard,
Low muttering to himself (the world he seemed to know)
:
” Small profit found in those praised highly by a foe.”
[Kenevitch supposes that Kriloff here alludes to a con- temporary diplomatic appointment, but can find no ground
for giving any name or particular circumstance.]