On a statue king Lion dethroned,
Showing conqueror Man, Lion frowned.
“If a Lion, you know,
Had been sculptor, he’d show
Lion rampant, and Man on the ground.”
This is taken from W. J. Linton’s “Baby’s Own Aesop,” with illustrations by Walter Crane (1887.)
Here is the same fable as told by Sir Brooke Boothby:
Lion and Man, on some pretence,
Disputed for pre-eminence.
In marble wrought, the latter show’d
A man who o’er a lion strode.
“If that be all,” the beast replied,
“A lion on a man astride,
You soon assuredly would view,
The sculptor’s art if lions knew.”
Each nation would the rest excel,
If their own tale allow’d to tell.