I Saw the Vertues sitting hand in hand In sevrall ranks upon an azure throne, Where all the beasts and fowl by their command Presented tokens of submission. Humilitie, who sat the lowest there To execute their call, When by the beasts the presents tendred were, Gave them about to all. The angrie Lion did present his paw, Which by consent was givn to Mansuetude.1 The fearfull Hare her eares, which by their law Humilitie did reach to Fortitude. The jealous Turkie brought his corall-chain; That went to Temperance. On Justice was bestowd the Foxes brain, Killd in the way by chance. At length the Crow bringing the Peacocks plume, (For he would not) as they beheld the grace Of that brave gift, each one began to fume, And challenge it, as proper to his place, Till they fell out: which when the beasts espied, They leapt upon the throne; And if the Fox had livd to rule their side, They had deposd each one. Humilitie, who held the plume, at this Did weep so fast, that the tears trickling down Spoild all the train: then saying, Here it is For which ye wrangle, made them turn their frown Against the beasts: so joyntly bandying, They drive them soon away; And then amercd2 them, double gifts to bring At the next Session-day.
1 Mansuetude. Gentleness, meekness. Oxford English Dictionary. [Return]
2 amerced. With a penalty of the amount expressed. This line quoted in The Oxford English Dictionary. [Return]
Editors note: Why does this remind me of the mischievous/malicious goddess
who threw a golden apple, with "To The Fairest" written on it, into a garden
where Hera, Athena and Aphrodite were sitting? You know what trouble that
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