To the still Covert of a Wood


The LYON and the GNAT.

Primary Text:

No MS; 1713 Misc, 254-8.

Secondary Ed:

Rpt of 1716: 1903 Reynolds, 203-5.


La Fontaine, "Le Lion et le Moucheron," II, 9, 68-9; perhaps also L'Estrange, "A Gnat Challenges a Lion," Pt 1, No. 201 (a close paraphrase of La Fontaine).


Finch transforms La Fontaine's terse verse paragraph on human frailty into amusing mock-heroic stanzas; her moral is the powerful can be hurt by the "meaner ones" they "despise."
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