A needle, small as small can be, In bulk and use surpasses me, Nor is my purchase dear; For little, and almost for nought As many of my kind are bought As days are in the year. Yet though but little use we boast, And are procured at little cost, The labour is not light; Nor few artificers it asks, All skilful in their several tasks, To fashion us aright, One fuses metal o’er the fire, A second draws it into wire, The shears another plies; Who clips in length the brazen thread From him who, chafing every shred, Gives all an equal size. A fifth prepares, exact and round, The knob with which it must be crown’d; His follower makes it fast; And with his mallet and his file To shape the point, employs awhile The seventh and the last. Now, therefore, Œdipus! declare What creature, wonderful, and rare, A process that obtains Its purpose with so much ado At last produces!—tell me true, And take me for your pains!
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