A Fable

A dingy donkey, formal and unchanged,
Browsed in the lane and o'er the common ranged,
Proud of his ancient asinine possessions,
Free from the panniers of the grave professions,
He lived at ease; and chancing once to find
A lion's skin, the fancy took his mind
To personate the monarch of the wood;
And for a time the stratagem held good.
He moved with so majestical a pace
That bears and wolves and all the savage race
Gazed in admiring awe, ranging aloof
Not over-anxious for a clearer proof—
Longer he might have triumph'd—but alas!
In an unguarded hour it came to pass
He bray'd aloud; and show'd himself an ass!

The moral of this tale I could not guess
Till Mr Landor sent his works to press.

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