Hoyt & Roberts, comps. Hoyts New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations. 1922.
Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite em, And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum. And the great fleas themselves, in turn, have greater fleas to go on; While these again have greater still, and greater still, and so on. Augustus De MorganA Budget of Paradoxes. P. 377.
I cannot raise my worth too high; Of what vast consequence am I! Not of the importance you suppose, Replies a Flea upon his nose; Be humble, learn thyself to scan; Know, pride was never made for man. GayThe Man and the Flea.
It was many and many a year ago, In a District styled E. C., That a monster dwelt whom I came to know By the name of Cannibal Flea, And the brute was possessed with no other thought Than to liveand to live on me. Thos. Hood, Jr.The Cannibal Flea. Parody on Poes Annabel Lee.
So, naturalists observe, a flea Has smaller fleas that on him prey; And these have smaller still to bite em, And so proceed ad infinitum. Thus every poet in his kind Is bit by him that comes behind. SwiftPoetry. A Rhapsody.