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Phaedrus, The Fables of Phaedrus (ed. Christopher Smart, Christopher Smart, A. M.), book 3, The Trees Protected (search)
The Trees Protected The gods took certain trees (th' affair Was some time since) into their care. The oak was best approved by Jove, The myrtle by the queen of love; The god of music and the day Vouchsafed to patronise the bay; The pine Cybele chanced to please, And the tall poplar Hercules. Minerva upon this inquired Why they all barren trees admired ? " The cause," says Jupiter, "is plain, Lest we give honour up for gain." " Let every one their fancy suit, I choose the olive for its fruit." The sire of gods and men replies, " Daughter, thou shalt be reckon'd wise By all the world, and justly too; For whatsover things we do, If not a life of useful days, How vain is all pretence to praise !" Whate'er experiments you try, Have some advantage in your eye.