Poems Based on the Morals of Aesop

244px-Velázquez_-_Esopo_(Museo_del_Prado,_1639-41)
Aesop
Morals of Aesop

Aesop, the famous Greek philosopher and sage (620 B.C. – 560 B.C.) is most well known for his many fables. He also wrote many ‘morals’ as instructions and guides to live by. A few of his most famous morals are:

  • A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
  • Birds of a feather flock together
  • Count not your chickens before they are hatched
  • Look before you leap
  • Necessity is the mother of invention
  • Fine weather friends are not worth much
  • Pride goes before destruction
  • Self-help is the best help
  • Flattery is a dangerous weapon in the hands of an enemy

The following two poems use two of Aesop’s lesser known morals for inspiration:

  • Better to starve free than to be a fat slave
  • A wise man is warned by the misfortune of others

 

Better to Starve Free than to be a Fat Slave

Some people compromise themselves,

Don’t stand by their beliefs.

They’ll sell their souls to get ahead,

And bow down to the chiefs.

∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝

You need to have a moral code,

Stand up for what is right.

Don’t surrender to the world,

You need to see the light.

∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝

Be ethical in all you do,

Don’t let the dollar rule.

Let your heart direct your life,

Don’t be another’s tool.

∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝

Sometimes life may get you down,

Not go the way you plan.

Be strong and patient in these times,

And bravely take a stand.

∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝

In every country on this earth,

All throughout our history,

One common goal each man has had

Is the struggle to be free.

∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝

So don’t surrender up your morals,

Regret it on your grave.

It’s better to starve living free,

Than to be a big fat slave.

 

A Wise Man is Warned by the Misfortune of Others

Foolish people think they know

Much more than they do.

They act as though they’re experts,

When they haven’t got a clue.

∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝

A wise man’s learning never ends,

Each day he’s learning more.

He doesn’t claim to know it all,

Or boast and be a bore.

∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝

He makes mistakes, but only once,

And learns from these mistakes.

Close observation of the world

Is really all it takes.

∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝

A fool jumps in without a care,

No consequence he sees.

He repeats his errors more than once,

His carelessness won’t cease.

∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝ ∝

A wise man’s warned by others’ woes,

When misfortune comes to pass.

He’ll carefully take a different road,

But fools always finish last.

 

Morals and Ethics

Poetry by John Hansen © 2016

John Hansen

Longtime poet but not in the traditional technical sense. I enjoy rhyme but like to experiment and dabble in many different forms and maybe even make up some of my own. There is always a message or lesson I want to promote through my writing, for that reason, my poetry generally shies away from the abstract and obscure.

After a lot of procrastinating I have finally self-published my first eBooks of poetry "I Laughed a Smile" and "On the Wings of Eagles" at Lulu.com.Now I find myself branching out and experimenting with short fiction.

I have also been fortunate to have two poems chosen to be made into songs and recorded. The first "On the Road to Kingdom Come" by Al Wordlaw, and the second, "If I Could Write a Love Poem" by award-winning Israeli/British singer Tally Koren.

I am also finding my services increasingly in demand as a freelance writer and I have ghost-written the text for a number of children's books and educational tutorials.

It has taken me many years of searching and restlessness to realise that my life's passion is to write. It saddens me that I wasted so many years not devoting to that, but thinking positively, the experiences gained over those years is now wonderful material for my stories and poems.

I want to try to bring a new focus on poetry and try to make it appealing to a new generation of young people and those who thought they never liked or understood it before.

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John Hansen

Longtime poet but not in the traditional technical sense. I enjoy rhyme but like to experiment and dabble in many different forms and maybe even make up some of my own. There is always a message or lesson I want to promote through my writing, for that reason, my poetry generally shies away from the abstract and obscure. After a lot of procrastinating I have finally self-published my first eBooks of poetry "I Laughed a Smile" and "On the Wings of Eagles" at Lulu.com. Now I find myself branching out and experimenting with short fiction. I have also been fortunate to have two poems chosen to be made into songs and recorded. The first "On the Road to Kingdom Come" by Al Wordlaw, and the second, "If I Could Write a Love Poem" by award-winning Israeli/British singer Tally Koren. I am also finding my services increasingly in demand as a freelance writer and I have ghost-written the text for a number of children's books and educational tutorials. It has taken me many years of searching and restlessness to realise that my life's passion is to write. It saddens me that I wasted so many years not devoting to that, but thinking positively, the experiences gained over those years is now wonderful material for my stories and poems. I want to try to bring a new focus on poetry and try to make it appealing to a new generation of young people and those who thought they never liked or understood it before.

16 thoughts on “Poems Based on the Morals of Aesop

  • June 10, 2016 at 7:05 AM
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    Bravo this is just wonderful. Such wonderment with words. Timeless wisdom. Thank you for passing it along.

    Reply
  • June 10, 2016 at 7:28 AM
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    Eric, how great it is to see you supporting us by visiting this site. I thank you for that and also for your generous comment regarding these poems. p.s. This is a Norine free zone 🙂

    Reply
  • June 10, 2016 at 1:06 PM
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    These two poems, especially the first one, really impressed me. These are timeless pieces. True works of art.

    Reply
    • June 10, 2016 at 4:22 PM
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      Thank you, Dana. I really appreciate you continuing to follow my work here, and am so glad you found value in these poems.

      Reply
  • June 10, 2016 at 1:11 PM
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    Very clever and enjoyable read, John. I like the way you used the morals to create poetry. I love Aesop fables. Well done!

    Reply
  • June 10, 2016 at 4:24 PM
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    Hello Phyllis. Yes, I enjoyed the hub you wrote about Aesop sometime ago. He was a very wise man. Glad you enjoyed these poems inspired by his morals.

    Reply
  • June 10, 2016 at 4:56 PM
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    I have known many people who were destroyed by their own arrogance. Some will make comments about other’s and say ” Oh, I’m surprised they didn’t become more successful because they were so smart” Well, some people are too smart for their own good.

    Reply
  • June 10, 2016 at 5:52 PM
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    Dana, unfortunately intelligence and wisdom are two completely different things. Some people are very “smart” but have no common sense. You need to know how to use the skills you have to be successful.

    Reply
  • June 11, 2016 at 8:57 PM
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    A great idea and so beautifully expressed in verse. Well done John, and wasn’t Aesop an enlightened soul, wisdom so fluid within a mind. Morality is what has always saved us as humanity, although much has been lost of late. But here is a reason to celebrate a man who saw much in the reality of the human journey. Excellent John.

    Reply
  • June 11, 2016 at 9:17 PM
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    Thanks for the wonderful comment, Tony. You are right that humanity has often been saved by morality, or punnished for the lack of. It is remarkable how much wisdom and enlightenment a man like Aesop had.

    Reply
    • June 12, 2016 at 10:18 AM
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      Thanks for checking these poems out Jared. Glad you liked them. I really appreciate your comment 🙂

      Reply
  • June 19, 2016 at 5:43 AM
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    The morals so defined here by Aesop is nonetheless astounding. For without morals we are a dying society, thus our death is eminent. Has anything really changed John? our world has been going to Pot since day ONE. Thankfully the world enjoyed many wonderful artists, statesmen, humanists over time, but of late the 21st century is lacking. We need Aesop to step out of the shadows and remind us all why we are here, for enlightment is sadly needed. I agree “So don’t surrender up your morals, regret it on your grave.” Thank you John for the important reminder and bringing forth Aesop and his wise sayings. Their are too many Fat Slaves roaming around in their muck and mire.

    Reply
  • June 19, 2016 at 6:49 AM
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    Wise words, Vincent. We are on the same wavelength. We need more wise men like Aesop, but even more, we need to listen to them. There are too many fat slaves, that’s for sure.

    Reply
  • September 17, 2016 at 11:32 AM
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    Sometimes I feel like “…a big fat slave…” I love that line. I am excited that you decided to add more of your poems to your original list. Jamie

    Reply
  • September 17, 2016 at 4:32 PM
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    Thanks for reading through all these and commenting, Jamie. Much appreciated. I hope you find a few to be worthy of your proposed poetry reading gig with Phyllis.

    Reply

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