That harbour'd in a neighbouring ground.
Sure of the prize, ere they begin,
They strike a bargain for the skin.
Next morn they start by break of day,
And meet Sir Bruin on the way;
Who far from flying, as they thought,
Advances on a nimble trot.
Quaking with fear, one mounts a tree;
One falls, and lifeless seem'd to be;
As he had often heard it said,
Bears will not feed upon the dead.
Bruin approaches; with his snout
The body scents and turns about;
And judging him a corpse at last,
He growling to the forest past.
The other then descends: "All's well,
Thank heaven," he cries, "but prithee tell,
What was it, comrade, that the Bear
Whisper'd so closely in thy ear?" —
"Never to sell the skin again,
Till we the animal have slain."
Source: Boothby - Avianus 4
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