The Fly's Revenge

By Hannah Flagg Gould

“So,” said a fly, as he paused and thought
How he had just been brushed about,
“They think, no doubt, I am next to nought—
Put into life but to be put out!
“Just as if, when our Maker planned
His mighty scheme, He had quite forgot
To grant the work of his skilful hand,
The peaceful fly, an abiding spot!
“They grudge me even a breath of air,
A speck of earth and a ray of sun!
This is more than a fly can bear;
Now I’ll pay them for what they’ve done!”
First he lit on the idle thumb
Of a poet; and “now for your thoughts!” said he,
“Wherever they soar, I’ll make them come
Down, from their towering flight, to me!”
He went and tickled the nasal tip
Of a scholar, and over his eye-brow stung,
Till he raised his hand, and his brain let slip
A chain of gems, that had just been strung.
Off to a crowded church he flew,
And over the faces boldly stepped;
Pointing out to the pastor’s view,
How many sheep in the pasture slept.
He buzzed about at a lady’s ear,
Just as a youth, with piteous sigh,
Popped the question she would not hear,
And only answered, “a saucy fly!”
He washed his feet in the worthless tear
A belle at the theatre chanced to weep;
“Rouge in the bath!” he cried, “my dear,
Your cheek has a blush that is not skin deep!”
On the astronomer’s pointed glass
He leisurely stood and stretched his wing;
For here, he knew, he was sure to pass
For quite a great and important thing.
“Now is the time,” said he, “my man,
To measure the fly from head to heel!
Number the miles, and, if you can,
Name the planets that I conceal.
“What do you call the twinkling star
Over the spot where you see me tread;
And the beautiful cluster of lights afar,
Ranged in the heavens above my head?
“Ah! it is station that swells us all,
At once, to a size that were else unknown!
And now, if ever I hear you call
My race an order beneath your own,
“I’ll tell the world of this comic scene;
And how will they laugh to hear that I,
Small as you think me, can stand between
You and your views of the spacious sky!”

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