Kriloff’s Original Fables
For me those talents are as naught,
Which to the world no profit bring,
Though with their praise the world itself may ring.
A merchant to a fair some linens brought
;
And linen is a thing which most of us require.
A sin in him, if he were not content Wi’ th’ crowds of pushing purchasers that went
His goods to buy up, and their worth admire.
A Spider, who had watched the briskness of the trade,
Was envious made
To see such profits going
;
So he resolved for sale to weave,
And far behind the merchant leave,
Opening his shop the window in, and there his own goods
showing.
His points first fixed with care, his lines all night he drew
out, Set up his wares for admiration,
And, as he there, awaiting a sensation,
His shop not quitting sat, his cheeks he blew out, And thought, if it were only day,
Buyers would come in crowds his way. The day has come, and what with it ? The dirty rogue a broom
Out of the shop hath swept, for webs no room. Our Spider cries, with angry spite, ” See there the just reward that does me right
!
Witness the world for me : is it as fine, The merchant’s cloth as mine ? ” “Of course ’tis not : that every fool may guess,
” A Bee in answer says ; ” but what has that to do
With this, that none from it e’er profit drew ? No one it warms, and in it none can dress !”

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