The Frog that wishes to be as Big as the Ox

Original Text: 

The Fables of La Fontaine, trans. Elizur Wright, Jr. (London: William Smith, 1842): 1. Internet Archive

2                An envious little frog,
3                Not bigger than an egg,
4            A stately bullock spies,
5            And, smitten with his size,
6                Attempts to be as big.
7        With earnestness and pains,
8        She stretches, swells, and strains,
9    And says, Sir Frog, look here! see me!
10        Is this enough? No, no.
11        Well, then, is this? Poh! poh!
12    Enough! you don't begin to be.
13            And thus the reptile sits,
14            Enlarging till she splits.
15            The world is full of folks
16                Of just such wisdom;--
17            The lordly dome provokes
18                The cit to build his dome;
19            And, really, there is no telling
20How much great men set little ones a swelling.

Notes

1] "The story of this fable is given in Horace, Satires, II. 3, Phaedrus and Corrozet have also versions of it .... Gilles Corrozet was one of the French fabulists immediately preceding La Fontaine. He was a Parisian bookseller-author who lived between 1516 and 1568." (Translator's note.) Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
Data entry: Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: 
2012