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The Discontented Horse by Unknown Author









The Discontented Horse
Unknown Author

As Jupiter once was receiving petitions
From birds and from beasts of all ranks and conditions;
With an eye full of fire, and mane quite erect,
Which, I'm sorry to say, shewed but little respect,
The Horse went as near as he dared to the throne,
And thus made his donkey-like sentiments known:

"For beauty of symmetry, fleetness, and force,
It is said that all animals yield to the Horse;
While my spirit I feel, and my figure I view
In the brook, I'm inclined to believe it is true;
But still, mighty Jupiter, still, by your aid,
In my form might some further improvements be made.
To run is my duty, and swifter and stronger
I surely should go, were my legs to be longer:
And as man always places a seat on my back,
I should have been made with a saddle or sack;
It had saved him much trouble, on journies departing,
And I had been constantly ready for starting."

Great Jupiter smiled (for he laughed at the brute,
As he saw more of folly than vice in his suit),

And striking the earth with omnipotent force,
A Camel rose up near the terrified Horse:
He trembled—he started—his mane shook with fright,
And he staggered half round, as preparing for flight.

"Behold!" exclaimed Jove, "there an animal stands
With both your improvements at once to your hands:
His legs are much longer; the hump on his back
Well answers the purpose of saddle or sack: 
Of your shapes, tell me, which is more finished and trim?
Speak out, silly Horse, would you wish to be him?"

The Horse looked abashed, and had nothing to say
And Jove, with reproaches, thus sent him away:
"Begone, till you gratefully feel and express
Your thanks for the blessings and gifts you possess.
The Camel, though plain, is mild, useful, and good;
You are handsome, but proud, discontented and rude."