Two formal Owls together sat,
Conferring thus in solemn chat:
"How is the modern taste
Where's the respect to wisdom paid?
Our worth the Grecian sages knew;
They gave our sires the honour due:
They weigh'd the dignity of fowls,
And pry'd into the depth of Owls.
Athens, the seat of earned fame,
With gen'ral voice revered our name;
On merit title was conferr'd,
And all adored th' Athenian bird."
"Brother, you reason well," replies
The solemn mate, with half-shut eyes:
"Right: Athens was the seat of learning,
And truly wisdom is discerning.
Besides, on Pallas' helm we sit,
The type and ornament of wit:
But now, alas! we're quite neglected,
And a pert Sparrow's more respected."
A Sparrow, who was lodged beside,
O'erhears them sooth each other's pride.