Friendship, as love, is but a name,
Save in a concentrated flame;
And thus, in friendships, who depend On more than one, find not one friend.

A hare who, in a civil way,
Was not dissimilar to GAY,
Was well known never to offend,
And every creature was her friend.
As was her wont, at early dawn,
She issued to the dewy lawn;
When, from the wood and empty lair,
The cry of hounds fell on her ear.
She started at the frightful sounds,
And doubled to mislead the hounds;
Till, fainting with her beating heart,
She saw the horse, who fed apart.
'My friend, the hounds are on my track;
Oh, let me refuge on your back! '

The horse responded: 'Honest Puss,
It grieves me much to see you thus.
Be comforted-relief is near;
Behold, the bull is in the rear.'

Then she implored the stately bull,
His answer we relate in full:
'Madam, each beast alive can tell
How very much I wish you well;
But business presses in a heap,
I an appointment have to keep;
And now a lady's in the case,-
When other things, you know, give place. Behold the goat is just behind;
Trust, trust you'll not think me unkind.'

The goat declared his rocky lairs Wholly unsuited were to hares.
'There is the sheep,' he said, 'with fleece.
Adapted, now, to your release.'

The sheep replied that she was sure
Her weight was too great to endure;
'Besides,' she said, 'hounds worry sheep.'

Next was a calf, safe in a keep:
'Oh, help me, bull-calf-lend me aid! '

'My youth and inexperience weighed,' Replied the bull-calf, 'though I rue it,
Make me incompetent to do it;
My friends might take offence. My heart-
You know my heart, my friend-we part,
I do assure you-Hark! adieu!
The pack, in full cry, is in view.'

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)Say it

John Gay

John Gay, a cousin of the poet John Gay, was an English philosopher, biblical scholar and Church of England clergyman. more…

All John Gay poems | John Gay Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Translation

Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss this John Gay poem with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"Fable L: The Hare and Many Friends by John Gay" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 25 Nov. 2017. <http://www.poetry.net/poem/22767>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!