"The Brass-Pot, and Stone-Jugg" by Anne Kingsmill Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (1661 - 1720)
Brother, quoth he, (Love to endear)
Why shou'd We Two continue here,
To serve and cook such homely Cheer?
Who tho' we move with awkward pace,
Your stony Bowels, and my Face,
Abroad can't miss of Wealth and Place.
Then let us instantly be going,
And see what in the World is Doing.
The bloated Jugg, supine and lazy,
Who made no Wish, but to be easy,
Nor, like it's Owner, e'er did think
Of ought, but to be fill'd with Drink;
Yet something mov'd by this fine Story,
And frothing higher with Vain-glory,
Reply'd, he never wanted Metal,
But had not Sides, like sturdy Kettle,
That in a Croud cou'd shove and bustle,
And to Preferment bear the Justle;
When the first Knock would break His Measures,
And stop his Rise to Place and Treasures.
Sure (quoth the Pot ) thy Scull is thicker,
Than ever was thy muddiest Liquor:
Go I not with thee, for thy Guard,
To take off Blows, and Dangers ward?
And hast thou never heard, that Cully
Is borne thro' all by daring Bully?
Your self (reply'd the Drink-conveigher)
May be my Ruin and Betrayer:
A Superiority you boast,
And dress the Meat, I but the Toast:
Than mine your Constitution's stronger,
And in Fatigues can hold out longer;
And shou'd one Bang from you be taken,
I into Nothing shou'd be shaken.
A d'autre cry'd the Pot in scorn,
Dost think, there's such a Villain born,
That, when he proffers Aid and Shelter,
Will rudely fall to Helter-Skelter?
No more, but follow to the Road,
Where Each now drags his pond'rous Load,
And up the Hill were almost clamber'd,
When (may it ever be remember'd!)
Down rolls the Jugg, and after rattles
The most perfidious of all Kettles;
At every Molehill gives a Jump,
Nor rests, till by obdurate Thump,
The Pot of Stone, to shivers broken,
Sends each misguided Fool a Token:
To show them, by this fatal Test,
That Equal Company is best,
Where none Oppress, nor are Opprest.