A Goat, a Sheep, and a fat Pig were sent
To market, to their mutual discontent;
Not for the pleasures of the noisy fair,
But just to sell—the farmer′s only care.
Not to see jugglers′ tricks drove on the carter,
Bent only on his traffic and his barter.
Sir Porker screeched, as if he felt the knife,
Or heard ten butchers plotting ′gainst his life.
It was a noise to deafen any one:
His mild companions prayed him to have done.
The carter shouts, "Good heavens! why this riot?
You′ll drive us silly; fool! can′t you be quiet?
These honest folks should teach you manners, man;
So hold your tongue, you coward, if you can.
Observe this sheep, he has not said a word,
And he is wise." "Now, fool! you talk absurd.
If he the dangers knew as well as I,
Till he was hoarse and blind he′d bleat and cry.
And this my other friend, so calm and still,
Would scream his life out, as I, carter, will.
They think you′re only going, on the morrow,
From this his milk, from that his wool to borrow:
They may be right or wrong, I do not know;
But I am certain of the deadly blow:
I′m good but for the spit. Farewell to you,
My house, and wife, and children! now, adieu."
Sir Porker reasoned with sufficient skill;
But all was useless: he was fit to kill.
Fear nor complaint could change his destiny:
He who looks forward least will wisest be.