Esop at Play

Illustration 134

Esop at Play

When  an Athenian Esop saw,

Playing with school-boys once at taw,

The man with laughter shook his sides;

Esop the laughter thus derides:

"Of this slack bow before you laid,

The meaning, sprightly sir," he said,

"Explain!" (A crowd had gather'd round.)

Surpris'd, the man no answer found:

He puzzled long, but all his wit

Could on no explanation hit.

The laugh on Esop's side; says he,

"Why you this bow unbended see,

It is because it needs must break,

If always bent; so we must take

Due relaxation, that the mind

Its vigor may when wanted find."

He who in harmless sport employs

A vacant hour, is not unwise.

Illustration 135