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The Lion Grown Old

(Recueil 1, Livre 3, Fable 14)



A lion, mourning, in his age, the wane

Of might once dreaded through his wild domain,

Was mocked, at last, on his throne,

By subjects of his own,

Strong through his weakness grown.

The horse his head saluted with a kick;

The wolf snapped at his royal hide;

The ox, too, gored him in the side;

The unhappy lion, sad and sick,

Could hardly growl, he was so weak.

In uncomplaining, stoic pride,

He waited for the hour of fate,

Till the ass approached his gate;

Whereat, "This is too much," he says;

"I willingly would yield my breath;

But, ah! your kick is double death!"

Jean de La Fontaine

Book 3, Fable 14



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