Fable 3. The Mother, the Nurse, and the Fairy -


Give me a son. The blessing sent,
Were ever Parents more content?
How partial are their doating eyes!
No child is half so fair and wise.

Wak'd to the morning's pleasing care,
The Mother rose, and sought her heir;
She saw the Nurse, like one possest,
With wringing hands and sobbing breast.
Sure some disaster has befel,
Speak Nurse; I hope the boy is well.
Dear Madam, think not me to blame,
Invisible the Fairy came,
Your precious babe is hence convey'd,
And in the place a changeling laid,
Where are the father's mouth and nose,
The mother's eyes, as black as sloes?
See here, a shocking aukward creature,
That speaks a fool in ev'ry feature.

The woman's blind, the Mother crys,
I see wit sparkle in his eyes.
Lord! Madam, what a squinting leer!
No, doubt the Fairy hath been here.
Just as she spoke, a pigmy sprite
Pops through the key-hole, swift as light,
Perch'd on the cradle's top he stands,
And thus her folly reprimands.

Whence sprung the vain conceited lye
That we the world with fools supply?
What! give our sprightly race away,
For the dull helpless sons of clay!
Besides, by partial fondness shown,
Like you we doat upon our own.
Where yet was ever found a mother,
Who'd give her booby for another?
And should we change with human breed,
Well might we pass for fools indeed.
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