To His Highness William, Duke of Cumberland. Fable 1. The Lyon, the Tyger, and the Traveller -



The L YON , the T YGER , and the Traveller .

A CCEPT , young P RINCE , the moral lay,
And in these tales mankind survey;
With early virtues plant your breast,
The specious arts of vice detest.
Princes, like Beautys, from their youth
Are strangers to the voice of truth:
Learn to contemn all praise betimes;
For flattery's the nurse of crimes;
Friendship by sweet reproof is shown,
(A virtue never near a throne;)
In courts such freedom must offend,
There none presumes to be a friend.
To those of your exalted station
Each courtier is a dedication;
Must I too flatter like the rest,
And turn my morals to a jest?
The muse disdains to steal from those,
Who thrive in courts by fulsome prose.
But shall I hide your real praise,
Or tell you what a nation says?
They in your infant bosom trace
The virtues of your Royal race.
In the fair dawning of your mind
Discern you gen'rous, mild and kind,
They see you grieve to hear distress,
And pant already to redress.
Go on, the height of good attain,
Nor let a nation hope in vain.
For hence we justly may presage
The virtues of a riper age.
True courage shall your bosom fire,
And future actions own your Sire.
Cowards are cruel; but the brave
Love mercy, and delight to save.

A Tyger, roaming for his prey,
Sprung on a Trav'ler in the way;
The prostrate game a Lyon spys,
And on the greedy tyrant flys:
With mingled roar resounds the wood,
Their teeth, their claws distill with blood,
Till, vanquish'd by the Lyon's strength,
The spotted foe extends his length.
The Man besought the shaggy lord,
And on his knees for life implor'd,
His life the gen'rous hero gave.
Together walking to his Cave,
The Lyon thus bespoke his guest.
What hardy beast shall dare contest
My matchless strength? You saw the fight,
And must attest my pow'r and right.
Forc'd to forego their native home
My starving slaves at distance roam,
Within these woods I reign alone,
The boundless forest is my own;
Bears, wolves, and all the savage brood
Have dy'd the regal den with blood;
These carcasses on either hand,
Those bones that whiten all the land
My former deeds and triumphs tell,
Beneath these jaws what numbers fell.
True, says the Man, the strength I saw
Might well the brutal nation awe;
But shall a monarch, brave like you.
Place glory in so false a view?
Robbers invade their neighbour's right.
Be lov'd. Let justice bound your might.
Mean are ambitious heroes boasts
Of wasted lands and slaughter'd hosts;
Pyrates their power by murders gain,
Wise kings by love and mercy reign;
To me your clemency hath shown
The virtue worthy of a throne;
Heav'n gives you power above the rest,
Like Heav'n to succour the distrest.
The case is plain, the Monarch said;
False glory hath my youth mis-led,
For beasts of prey, a servile train,
Have been the flatt'rers of my reign.
You reason well. Yet tell me, friend,
Did ever you in courts attend?
For all my fawning rogues agree
That human heroes rule like me.
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