John Gay

(30 June 1685 – 4 December 1732 / Barnstaple, England)

Previous Month August 2014 Next Month
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
28 29 30 31 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Poem of the Day
Select a day from the calendar.
Would you like to see the poem of the day in your e-mail box every morning?
Your email address:
  Subscribe FREE
  Unsubscribe

Fable L: The Hare and Many Friends


Friendship, as love, is but a name,
Save in a concentrated flame;
And thus, in friendships, who depend
On more than one, find not one friend.

A hare who, in a civil way,
Was not dissimilar to GAY,
Was well known never to offend,
And every creature was her friend.
As was her wont, at early dawn,
She issued to the dewy lawn;
When, from the wood and empty lair,
The cry of hounds fell on her ear.
She started at the frightful sounds,
And doubled to mislead the hounds;
Till, fainting with her beating heart,
She saw the horse, who fed apart.
'My friend, the hounds are on my track;
Oh, let me refuge on your back! '

The horse responded: 'Honest Puss,
It grieves me much to see you thus.
Be comforted-relief is near;
Behold, the bull is in the rear.'

Then she implored the stately bull,
His answer we relate in full:
'Madam, each beast alive can tell
How very much I wish you well;
But business presses in a heap,
I an appointment have to keep;
And now a lady's in the case,-
When other things, you know, give place.
Behold the goat is just behind;
Trust, trust you'll not think me unkind.'

The goat declared his rocky lairs
Wholly unsuited were to hares.
'There is the sheep,' he said, 'with fleece.
Adapted, now, to your release.'

The sheep replied that she was sure
Her weight was too great to endure;
'Besides,' she said, 'hounds worry sheep.'

Next was a calf, safe in a keep:
'Oh, help me, bull-calf-lend me aid! '

'My youth and inexperience weighed,'
Replied the bull-calf, 'though I rue it,
Make me incompetent to do it;
My friends might take offence. My heart-
You know my heart, my friend-we part,
I do assure you-Hark! adieu!
The pack, in full cry, is in view.'

Submitted: Sunday, May 27, 2001
Edited: Friday, August 31, 2012

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: friend, horse, freedom, death, father, child, fear, light, children

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Fable L: The Hare and Many Friends by John Gay )

Enter the verification code :

  • Kevin Straw (8/31/2012 10:41:00 AM)

    This seems a cynical attitude towards friendship, but it must be remembered that the hare was facing a terrible foe. How many Germans helped their friends out when the Gestapo came for them? (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (8/31/2011 3:37:00 AM)

    All are friends! But who is real friend? It reminds me of a friend in need is a friend in deed! The poem of John Gay very well depicts this moral truth! (Report) Reply

  • Catrina Heart (8/31/2009 9:32:00 AM)

    WoW! ! ! Thanks PH has published John Gay's poems here....he did more to literature more like William Shakespeare. (Report) Reply

  • Archie Langford (8/31/2008 8:10:00 AM)

    in life one finds friends abound
    but none will save one from the hound
    rely on no one trust no one
    and it follows you wont get done a l (Report) Reply

Read all 9 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. THE PRETTY RAMADAN IS GOING TO EXPIRE AF.., MOHAMMAD SKATI
  2. Lullaby for the doomed, Willian Menuci
  3. into her goblet, gordon nosworthy
  4. Night's Tale, Willian Menuci
  5. Soldiers, Tony Adah
  6. SUMMER FUN, MORGAN AXIOTIS
  7. Morning Hymn, David Lessard
  8. How Bluntly Speak They, The CPI(M) Even.., Bijay Kant Dubey
  9. THE NIGHT OF REVELATION ليلة القدر, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  10. de pun.t, co the skipper

Poem of the Day

poet Edgar Allan Poe

Kind solace in a dying hour!
Such, father, is not (now) my theme-
I will not madly deem that power
Of Earth may shrive me of the sin
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Jacques Prevert

 

Member Poem

[Hata Bildir]