Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bishop Daniel’s Fables, V

The Wolf and the Sheep (I. A. Krylov, “Mirskaya skhodka”)
A system may be perfect, as it looks,
But if it be entrusted to some crooks,
They’ll twist it ‘round, and they will never rest
Until they make it serve their interest.

The wolf had filed a formal application
To be appointed guardian of the sheep.
He met at first with some procrastination:
Kin lion had appearances to keep.
Wolf’s friend, the vixen, had, behind the scene,
Secured for him the favour of the queen:
The outcome had been pre-arranged.
(How little the customs changed!)
To silence those who might report:
“There is corruption in the court’.
The king decreed a formal hearing
And animals began appearing.
It was a kind of open forum,
Designed the naked truth to find,
Where animals could speak their mid
And the opinions they had
Whether the wolves were good or bad.
WHen ev’ryone had made his disposition
And clearly stated his position
On the submitted proposition
They duly passed the afore-mentioned item
And had it signed and sealed according to the law.
But did the sheep object? No, not exactly so:
No one had bothered to invite ‘em!

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