The Colt and The Farmer

A well-bred Colt wasted his youth and fell into bad times. A Farmer took him in and nursed him to health and then used the racer for more menial tasks.

Doing your own thing may not be the thing to do.

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The Colt, for blood and mettled speed,
The choicest of the running breed,
Of youthful strength and beauty vain,
Refused subjection to the rein.
In vain the groom’s officious skill
Opposed his pride and checked his will;
In vain the master’s forming care
Restrained with threats, or soothed with prayer:
Of freedom proud, and scorning man,
Wild o’er the spacious plains he ran.
Whcrc’er luxuriant Nature spread
Her flowery carpet o’er the mead,
Or bubbling streams soft gliding pass
To cool and freshen up the grass,
Disdaining bounds, he cropped the blade,
And wantoned in the spoil he made.
In plenty thus the summer passed,
Revolving winter came at last;
The trees no more a shelter yield,
The verdure withers from the field,
Perpetual snows invest the ground,
In icy chains the fields arc bound;
Cold nipping winds, and rattling hail,
His lank, unsheltered sides assail.
As round he cast his rueful eyes,
He saw the thatch-roofed cottage rise:
The prospect touched his heart with cheer,
And promised kind deliv’rance near.
A stable, erst his scorn and hate,
Was now become his wished retreat;
His passion cool, his pride forgot,
A Farmer’s welcome yard he sought.
The master saw his woeful plight.
His limbs that tottered with his weight;
And, friendly, to the stable led.
And saw him littered, dressed, and fed.
In slothful ease all night he lay;
The servant rose at break of day.
The market calls; along the road
His back must bear the pond’rous load.
In vain he struggles or complains;
Incessant blows reward his pains.
To-morrow varies but his toil,
Chained to the plough, he breaks the soil;
While scanty meals at night repay
The painful labours of the day.
Subdued by toil. with anguish rent,
His self-upbraiding found a vent.
“Wretch that I am,” he sighing said,
“By arrogance and folly led!
Had but my restive youth been brought
To learn the lesson Nature taught,
Then had I, like my sires of yore,
The prize from every courser bore.
Now lasting servitude’s my lot,
My birth contemned, my speed forgot;
Doomed am I, for my pride, to bear
A living death from year to year.”