The Wasp and the Jumping Flea

A Wasp , of plumage brightly gay,
Thus with a dancing Flea could play:
" You've heard of many a Wasp that stings —
What think you of a Wasp that sings ,
And who — the wonder to increase —
With all Reviewers lives at peace;
Takes their correction, as her friend,
And loves the more what they commend.
You (though a biting little creature)
In taste and judgment are a meteor;
Come — you shall owe one place to me ,
You shall be my Reviewing Flea;
But spare no part that Fleas may catch,
And bite away, though blood you fetch.
Look! — here's a little Birth-day Ode,
Euphrosyne the hint bestow'd;
It's a mere trifle at the best,
But life's no better than a jest;
Its errors without fear dissect,
Connive — be sure — at no defect;
Subtract or add with honest pride,
For Truth alone is Friendship's guide;
Put in a word — or bite one out,
I'll never flinch — I'll never pout. "
The bustling self-important Flea ,
Bit — as if prompted by a fee —
Defects, and beauties, were his prey,
The pedant's laurel to display;
Not one in fifty of the lines
To Independence he resigns;
Whatever bite he thinks a hit ,
By him is voted sterling wit;
And for his wreaths at Nature's cost,
The Genius of the Ode is lost.
" A mass of nonsense " in its place,
The herald of his own disgrace,
By a mis-calculated whim,
Shifts all the ridicule on him .
But still each flippant stroke offends;
In short, they are no longer friends .
Yet how unequal is the fight!
The Wasp can sting — Fleas only bite .
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