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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Sung Yu (4th Century B.C.)


THE EAGLE is king of the birds; among fishes

Leviathan holds the first place.

Cleaving the far, crimson clouds,

The eagle soars upward apace,

With only the blue sky above,

Into remote realms of space;

But the grandeur of heaven and earth

Is naught to the hedge-sparrow race.

The whale through one ocean swims,

To take its course through a second;

While the minnow measures a puddle

As the width of the sea might be reckoned.

And just as with birds and fishes,

Is the case, to be sure, with man.

Here soars a resplendent eagle,

There swims huge leviathan:

Behold the philosopher sapient,

Whose fame will never grow dim;

Alone in the might of his wisdom—

Can the rabble understand him?