Monday, October 26, 2009

The Bag Behind

Michael Gilleland recently mentioned the fable of Phaedrus about the two bags, so I did what I always do when the fables of Phaedrus come up, and looked to see how Christopher Smart rendered it. And so here's Kit Smart's version:


The Two Bags

Great Jove, in his paternal care,
Has giv'n a man two Bags to bear,
That which his own default contains,
Behind his back unseen remains;
But that which others' vice attests,
Swags full in view before our breasts.

Hence we're inevitably blind,
Relating to the Bag behind;
But when our neighbours mis-demean,
Our censures are exceeding keen.

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