Archive for June 6th, 2018

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

King Log – A Fable by Henry William Tytler

‘Tis said the croaking Race, of old,
Of Liberty grown tir’d,
Become seditious, vain and bold
From Jove a King desir’d,
The God, who Men and Croakers rules,
Smil’d at their discontent,
And soon, in pity to the Fools,
A harmless Monarch sent.
Red streams of Light’ning flash’d on high;
Loud Thunder shook the Bog;
And swift descended, from the sky,
A huge unwieldy Log.
Its dashing fall the Nation heard;
And trembled in their caves;
But, when the tumult ceas’d, they rear’d
Their heads above the waves,
At length, approaching by degrees,
And more familiar grown,
The State, with indignation, sees,
A Log upon the Throne.

Again loud clamours fill’d the place,
Their Chiefs, with one accord,
An active Ruler for the Race,
Besought from Heav’n’s high Lord,
The God, to punish discontent,
Denounc’d their future woe
And soon a vengeful Monarch sent,
To give the fated blow.
Lo! from the Lake’s remotest bed,
A hissing voice is heard;
And o’er the waves, his horrid head
A Water-Hydra rear’d.
With crest erect, and sparkling eyes,
He circles round the shores,
In ev’ry creek and corner pries,
And half the Race devours.
Ye Britons, to this Tale, give ear,
Which Æsop told before,
And you may now, with profit, hear,
As Athens did of yore.
Let Opposition cease to grieve
For good, yet unpossess’d,
Live while they may and still believe
The present hour the best.

From: Tytler, Henry William, Miscellanies in Verse, consisting of Poems, Tales, Translations, &c., 1828, Asiatic Press: Calcutta, pp. 252-253.

Date: c1790

By: Henry William Tytler (1752-1808)