Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Author: Phaedrus - 41 AD

Translated into English
  by C. Smart - 1887

Source: The Fables of Phaedrus

Original title (Latin):
Pauo ad Iunonem de uoce sua

Country of origin: Italy


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Juno and the Peacock

Phaedrus / C. Smart

Her favorite bird to Juno came,
And was in dudgeon at the dame,
That she had not attuned her throat
With Philomela's matchless note;
" She is the wonder of all ears;
But when I speak the audience sneers
The goddess to the bird replied,
(Willing to have him pacified,)
" You are above the rest endued
With beauty and with magnitude;
Your neck the emerald's gloss outvie?,
And what a blaze of gemmeous dies
Shines from the plumage of your tail!"
" All this dumb show will not avail,"
Cries he, "if I'm surpass'd in voice."
" The fates entirely have the choice
Of all the lots-fair form is yours;
The eagle's strength his prey secures;
The nightingale can sing an ode;
The crow and raven may forebode:
All these in sheer contentment crave
No other voice than Nature gave."
By affectation be not sway'd,
Where Nature has not lent her aid;
Nor to that flattering hope attend,
Which must in disappointment end.