Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Fable for Turkey Day

"The Turkey And The Ant", a fable told as a poem by John Gay, from the book The Experienced Butcher, published in 1816. Just something to think of while chowing down this fine festive day.

In other men we faults can spy,
And blame the mote that dims their eye,
Each little speck and blemish find,
To our own stronger errors blind.
A Turkey, tir'd of common food,
Forsook the barn, and sought the wood,
Behind her ran her infant train,
Collecting here and there a grain. "
Draw near, my birds," the mother cries; "
This hill delicious fare supplies;
Behold the busy negro race,
See, millions blacken all the place!
Fear not. Like me with freedom eat;
An ant is most delightful meat.
How blest, how envy'd were our life,
Could we but 'scape the poult'rer's knife!
But man, curst man, on turkeys preys,
And Christmas shortens all our days:
Sometimes with oysters we combine,
Sometimes assist the sav'ry chine,
From the low peasant to the lord,
The turkey smokes on ev'ry board.
Sure men for gluttony are curst,
Of sev'n deadly sins the worst."
     An Ant, who climb'd beyond her reach,
Thus answer'd from the neighb'ring beach: "
Ere you remark another's sin,
Bid thy own conscience look within.
Control thy more voracious bill,
Nor for a breakfast nations kill."