Fable L: The Hare And Many Friends Poem by John Gay

Fable L: The Hare And Many Friends

Rating: 2.9

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.'

Stevie Taite 31 August 2012

I love story poems like this, with moral!

5 1 Reply
Ramesh T A 31 August 2011

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!

3 1 Reply
Helen Lopez 31 August 2007

This is very interesting... i love it!

3 1 Reply
Marilyn Lott 31 August 2007

I love how this story unfolds. A delightful poem! Marilyn

3 0 Reply
Catrina Heart 31 August 2009

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

1 2 Reply
Susan Williams 10 November 2015

What a well-written expose of the value of professed friendship

25 0 Reply

that poor rabbit..the neat thing about is that while the hare was talking to the other barnyard animals its sent and footprints mingled with the others..the hounds would have had problems following it then..smart bunny! ! ! too bad the poet didn't write a concluding stanza..good poem..

1 3 Reply
* Sunprincess * 30 June 2014

.................a well thought out poem.....is friendship real or only another dream....

5 1 Reply
Aftab Alam Khursheed 31 August 2013

first stanza worth of dying immensity a poem that teaces many thing lovely poem

3 0 Reply
Kevin Straw 31 August 2012

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?

5 0 Reply
John Gay

John Gay

Barnstaple, England
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