I sing the heroes of old Aesop's line,
Whose tale, though false when strictly we define,
Containeth truths it were not ill to teach.
With me all natures use the gift of speech;
Yea, in my work, the very fishes preach,
And to our human selves their sermons suit.
'Tis thus, to come at man, I use the brute.
Son of a Prince the favourite of the skies,
On whom the world entire hath fix'd its eyes,
Who hence shall count his conquests by his days,
And gather from the proudest lips his praise,
A louder voice than mine must tell in song
What virtues to thy kingly line belong.
I seek thine ear to gain by lighter themes,
Slight pictures, deck'd in magic nature's beams;
And if to please thee shall not be my pride,
I'll gain at least the praise of having tried.