Gateway to the Classics: A Moral Alphabet by Hilaire Belloc
A Moral Alphabet by  Hilaire Belloc

S For Snail

S stands for snail,

who, though he be the least,

Is not an uninstructive Horned Beast.


His eyes are on his Horns, and when you shout

Or tickle them, the Horns go in and out.

Had Providence seen proper to endow

The furious Unicorn or sober Cow

With such a gift the one would never now

Appear so commonplace on Coats of Arms.

And what a fortune for our failing farms

If circus managers, with wealth untold,

Would take the Cows for half their weight in gold '


Learn from the Snail to take reproof with patience,

And not put out your Horns on all occasions.

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