Page:An argosy of fables.djvu/453

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


An Owl one night profanely flew
Into a church and chanced to see
A lamp or lantern—but the two
Are much alike, and one will do.
Whichever it might be.

And yet, methinks, anent the pair.
It was, if I remember well,
A lamp: but whether round or square.
Or made of glass or earthenware.
Is more than I can tell.

But there it hung, in pious proof
Of Catholicity, before
The Virgin's shrine—a thing aloof.
Just ninety feet below the roof
And nine above the floor.

The Owl, who felt at such a sight
His appetite for oil arise.
Swooped boldly towards it, but the light.
Alack! was too intensely bright.
And scorched his lidless eyes.

So, reeling backwards in despair,
He muttered, as he left the shrine,
"Oh, but for this terrific glare.
How gloriously would I fare
Upon that oil of thine!