Thursday, February 3, 2011

Boothby: Esop to a Prater

Esop, the only servant there,
When order'd dinner to prepare,
Went to a neighbour's house to take
A light, his kitchen fire to make.
As he return'd, intent on haste,
For shortness he the market pass'd:
A would-be wit, amongst the crowd,
Laughing, to Esop calls aloud:
"Ho! master Esop! is it you?
What, sunshine and a candle too!
What are you looking for?" — "A man,"
Esop replied, as on he ran.
Expressing by this repartee,
No man he counted him to be,
Who seeing one with business press'd,
Would stop him for an idle jest.

Source: Boothby - Phaedrus 3.18.

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