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Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange (1692)

161. A RAVEN AND A SWAN (Perry 398)

A Raven had a great Mind to be as White as a Swan, and Fancy’d To Himself that the Swan’s Beauty proceeded in a high Degree, from his often Washing and Dyet. The Raven, upon this, quitted his former Course of Life and Food, and betook himself to the Lakes and Rivers: But as the Water did him no Good at all for his Complexion, so the Experiment Cost him his Life for want of Sustenance.
THE MORAL OF THE TWO FABLES ABOVE. Natural Inclinations may be Moulded and Wrought upon by Good Councel and Discipline; but there are certain Specifick Properties and Impressions, that are never to be Alter’d or Defac’d.

L'Estrange originally published his version of the fables in 1692. There is a very nice illustrated edition in the Children's Classics series by Knopf: Sir Roger L'Estrange. Aesop - Fables which is available at amazon.com.