The reasoning of the strongest has such weight,
None can gainsay it, or dare prate,
No more than one would question Fate.
A Lamb her thirst was very calmly slaking,
At the pure current of a woodland rill;
A grisly Wolf, by hunger urged, came making
A tour in search of living things to kill.
"How dare you spoil my drink?" he fiercely cried;
There was grim fury in his very tone;
"I′ll teach you to let beasts like me alone.
"Let not your Majesty feel wrath," replied
The Lamb, "nor be unjust to me, from passion;
I cannot, Sire, disturb in any fashion
The stream which now your Royal Highness faces,
I′m lower down by at least twenty paces."
"You spoil it!" roared the Wolf; "and more, I know,
You slandered me but half a year ago."
"How could I do so, when I scarce was born?"
The Lamb replied; "I was a suckling then."
"Then ′twas your brother held me up to scorn."
"I have no brother." "Well, ′tis all the same;
At least ′twas some poor fool that bears your name.
You and your dogs, both great and small,
Your sheep and shepherds, one and all,
Slander me, if men say but true,
And I′ll revenge myself on you."
Thus saying, he bore off the Lamb
Deep in the wood, far from its dam.
And there, not waiting judge nor jury,
Fell to, and ate him in his fury.