There was once a Toad, and he lived in a hole
Till he grew as dingy and black as a coal.
At last he hopp'd out, for 'twas cloudy weather,
And vapour and mist were huddled together.
And "It's really a very fine thing," said he,
"That this great foggy world should be made for me!
For, of course, I have every reason to know
I'm the king of all creatures here below.
There's a man, now, riding along this way:
He is very busy and big; but pray,
What could he be made for, if it were not
To gladden my eyes and prove that I've got
A proper provision of rational pleasure,
As befits a monarch with so much leisure?
And then there's the robin that sings hard-by,
And the goldfinch above---why, with half an eye
One can see that they warble their tuneful numbers
Solely to sweeten my royal slumbers.
But the thing that plagues me is this:---these men
Drop off and die, and the goldfinch and wren
And robin die too, and the trees shake down
Their leaves, and the earth grows sere and brown;
Now what if the world were to fall in pieces,
While I'm in my prime!---it's that that teases
My brain." . . But the word was scarcely said,
When a broad-wheel'd waggon went over his head.

Thomas Westwood, 1855

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