A braggart, lover of the chase,
Had lost a dog of valued race,
And thought him in a lion’s maw.
He ask’d a shepherd whom he saw,
“Pray show me, man, the robber’s place,
And I’ll have justice in the case.”
“‘Tis on this mountain side,”
The shepherd man replied.
“The tribute of a sheep I pay,
Each month, and where I please I stray.”
Out leap’d the lion as he spake,
And came that way with agile feet.
The braggart, prompt his flight to take,
Cried, “Jove, O grant a safe retreat!”
A danger close at hand
Of courage is the test.
It shows us who will stand—
Whose legs will run their best.