The Animals (the Lion dead)
Resolved to choose a King instead;
The crown was taken from its case—
A dragon guarded well the place.
They tried the crown, but, when they′d done,
It would not fit a single one.
Some heads too large, and some too small;
Many had horns,—defects in all.
The Monkey, laughing, tried it, too,
And got his mocking visage through,
With many wild, fantastic faces;
And twisting gambols and grimaces.
A hoop, at last, around his waist
He wore it, and they cried, "Well placed!"
He was elected. Each one paid
Their homage to the King they′d made.
The Fox alone laments the choice,
But chokes it down with flattering voice.
Paving his little compliments,
To hide his secret sentiments.
"Sire," to the King, he said, "I′ve pleasure
To tell you I have found a treasure;
A secret, but to me alone—
All treasures fall unto the throne."
The young King, eager at finance,
Ran fast himself, to catch the chance.
It was a trap, and he was caught.
The Fox said, when his aid he sought,
"You think to govern us and rule;
You cannot save yourself, you fool!"
They turned him out, and, with some wit,
Agreed that few a crown will fit.