The wily shifts of state, those jugglers' tricks,
Which we call deep designs and politicks,
(As in a theatre the ignorant fry,
Because the cords escape their eye,
Wonder to see the motions fly)
Methinks, when you expose the scene,
Down the ill-organ'd engines fall;
Off fly the vizards, and discover all:
How plain I see through the deceit!
How shallow, and how gross, the cheat!
Look where the pully's tied above!
Great God! (said I) what have I seen!
On what poor engines move
The thoughts of monarchs, and designs of states!
What petty motives rule their fates!
How the mouse makes the mighty mountain shake!
The mighty mountain labours with its birth,
Away the frighten'd peasants fly,
Scar'd at th' unheard-of prodigy,
Expect some great gigantick son of earth;
Lo! it appears!
See how they tremble! how they quake!
Out starts the little mouse, and mocks their idle fears.