Page:Florian - The Fables, 1888.djvu/28

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A gift of speech much doted on.
He thought himself a man of wit,
That e'en for LL.D. was fit.
          He had the knack
Of conning o'er the almanac.
Of books and charts he kept a stock,
And daily eyed the weather-cock.
Still to his genius giving wing,
          He sought to know
How from one single pea could spring
The thousand peas that from it grow;—
Why from the linden's tiny seed
A tree so lofty should proceed,
While from the bean's far ampler size
A mere shrub comes that shortly dies;
And, above all, how beans should know
Their branches up from earth to throw,
Yet downwards thrust their roots below.
But while in search of truths like these,
He quite forgets his cabbages.
          His wat'ring pot
          Is too forgot.
He fails his fig-trees to protect,
Against the cold north winds that freeze,
While wilted drops his lettuces,
And all things suffer from neglect.
He has no fruit; and, what is worse,
There is no money in his purse;
So that our learned doctor lacks,
In spite of all his almanacs,