CONTEMPTUOUS of his home beyond
The village and the village pond,
A large-souled Frog who spurned each byway,
Hopped along the imperial highway.
Nor grunting pig nor barking dog
Could disconcert so great a frog.
The morning dew was lingering yet
His sides to cool, his tongue to wet;
The night dew when the night should come
A travelled frog would send him home.
Not so, alas! the wayside grass
Sees him no more: -- not so, alas!
A broadwheeled wagon unawares
Ran him down, his joys, his cares.
From dying choke one feeble croak
The Frog's perpetual silence broke:
"Ye bouyant Frogs, ye great and small,
Even I am mortal after all.
My road to Fame turns out a wry way:
I perish on this hideous highway,--
Oh for my old familiar byway!"
The choking Frog sobbed and was gone:
The wagoner strode whistling on.
Unconscious of the carnage done,
Whistling that wagoner strode on,--
Whistling (it may have happened so)
"A Froggy would a-wooing go:"
A hypothetic frog trolled he
Obtuse to a reality.
O rich and poor, O great and small,
Such oversights beset us all:
The mangled frog abides incog,
The uninteresting actual frog;
The hypothetic frog alone
Is the one frog we dwell upon.