The Rich Man and the Poet

Kriloff’s Original Fables
A Poet, with a Man famous for wealth once went To law, and unto Jupiter for help he prayed.
Before the Court of heaven the cause was laid, Both came : the one was lean, and thin, and bent,
Half dressed, and almost shoes without
The other all in gold, and with conceit swelled out. ” Take pity on me, thou, Olympus’ ruler great
Compeller of the clouds, on whom the thunders wait ! ”
Cries out the Poet, ” How am I in fault before thee,
That from my youth from Fortune have suffered every
ill? Without a corner for my head, or bread my mouth to
fill; My only having in my mind,
What there I can imagined find
Meanwhile my rival, who should well adore thee,
Void of all sense and merit, an equal is of gods
His palace in a crowd, whene’er he nods,
Of worshippers his wish prevent ; with luxury and ease The fat upon him hangs, and falls almost unto his knees.”—” And is it, then, a thing so vain, If unto latest ages reach thy lyre’s lightest strain ? ”
Thus answered Jupiter : ” His name
His grandchild won’t remember, his great-grandchild
will forget.
Was’t not thyself that chose for earthly portion fame ? This Man for life I’ve given all earthly good, and yet
Know thou, that, if he had things rightly understood,
And if his narrow mind at truth could even guess, Before thee he’d have felt his utter worthlessness

And at his fate have railed, e’en more than thou he

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